Floodwater from the Bourbeuse River surrounds a McDonald’s restaurant on December 29, 2015, in Union, Missouri.
Missouri is bracing for some of the worst flooding seen in a generation.
Floodwaters had killed at least 13 people in Missouri — and 20 total in the region — as of Wednesday at 8 am local time
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon late Tuesday activated the National Guard to assist in safety measures.
“These citizen soldiers will provide much-needed support to state and local first responders, many of whom have spent the last several days working around the clock responding to record rainfall and flooding,” Governor Nixon said in a press release.
The National Guard’s will include “providing security in evacuated areas and directing traffic from road closures”, a press release from Governor Nixon’s office said.
Missouri’s Meramac River has been flooded since Sunday, when the state’s Governor Jay Nixon announced an ongoing state of emergency over inclement weather that has spanned the American Midwest and killed scores of people. Homes and businesses in the area are already almost totally submerged.
For the first time since 1982, Missouri’s Interstate 44 highway is underwater, further complicating ongoing evacuation efforts, local newspaper the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Almost 1,000 people were estimated to have been evacuated from the part of Valley Park City, which sits on the Meramac, not far from St. Louis, local officials told The Independent.
“All of us remember the devastating impact of the Great Flood of 1993 and that’s why we have been working proactively with our local and federal partners to prepare and respond,” Governor Nixon said.
The Great Flood of 1993 cause $15 million in damages, killed 50 people and displaced thousands in Midwestern state — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Illinois, the federal National Weather Service (NWS) says.
Some 16.5 million Americans are effected by NWS flood warnings reported Wednesday.