Governor asks federal government to declare 70 Missouri counties 'major disaster'

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon requested the federal government declare a major disaster for 70 of Missouri’s 114 counties as a result of the prolonged storm systems that have generated tornadoes, straight line winds, torrential rain, hail, flooding and flash flooding across large portions of the state since May 15.

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Flood waters stand in a field off of Route B north of Hoover, Mo. in Platte County. Part of the road was again closed due to flash flooding.

The storm systems, which brought record rainfall to much of the state, extensively damaged roads, bridges and other public infrastructure, along with homes and businesses, and resulted in at least 10 deaths, the governor said in a press release sent out Tuesday, July 21.

“Communities across the state have been hit with extensive response and rebuilding expenses,” Nixon said. “I’m asking that federal assistance be available to help with that effort.”

Nixon first declared a state of emergency in Missouri on June 18. The order activated the State Emergency Operations Center and enabled the state to mobilize its resources to assist local authorities. Last week, the Governor extended the state of emergency until Aug. 14.

Route B north of Hoover Mo. remained closed as of Tuesday, July 21 as high waters covered the roadway and left water standing in nearby fields, as seen in the photo at left. In addition Route E east of Camden Point was closed after the Platte River overtopped that roadway. The river crested at 30.54 feet on Tuesday before a forecasted return to its banks on Thursday.