Update 4:50 p.m. with comments from Mo. Nat. Guard Maj. Tammy Spicer. Updated 2:43 with Missouri disaster declaration. Updated 9:56 a.m. April 19 with Missouri, St. Louis information. Updated at 4 p.m. April 18 with Ameren substation information.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency following significant flash and river flooding in his state.
"Heavy rainfall over the past few days has created dangerous flooding in areas across the state," Quinn said in a statement. "Everyone should stay home and off the roads if possible. To ensure safety as these storms continue, people should be alert and avoid flooded areas."
The Daily Herald captured this video clip of flooding in Lake County on April 15:
A statement from Quinn's office explains that the state of emergency "ensures that state resources are activated and that the federal government is aware that a disaster declaration is likely. It also allows the state to request resources as needed, such as personnel and equipment."
More information about the floods and other resources can be found at ReadyIllinois.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in response to the flooding as well. Here's the full statement from his office:
Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri after a strong storm system that included heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in many parts of the state and to rapidly rising rivers levels on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The Governor activated the Missouri National Guard and citizen-soldiers are being deployed to assist the city of Clarksville and other communities along the Mississippi River to assist in the flood fight.
"The sustained periods of heavy rainfall has swollen creeks and streams and is pushing the Mississippi River over flood levels, endangering river communities," Gov. Nixon said. "We will work closely with local officials and volunteers to support and protect communities, and the men and women of the National Guard will play a vital role in this fight."
The State Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the storm system since its activation last week to respond to the severe storms and tornadoes that impacted Missouri on April 10.
Gov. Nixon has also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
- St. Louis' streets department has stared to close and put up flood gates to keep the rising Mississippi River at bay. They say they will continue to do so throughout the weekend.
Major Tammy Spicer with the Missouri National Guard says they’ve been activated to provide assistance in and around Clarksville on the Mississippi River.
“Currently there are approximately 50 Missouri National Guard citizen soldiers and airmen being mobilized to assist," Spicer said. "We expect their assistance to primarily consist of sandbagging efforts at this time.”
Transportation officials say nearly 300 state roads are closed across Missouri because of flooding.
Check out MoDOT's map for the latest information about closed roads and those made dangerous by flooding.
Ken Warbritton, a maintenance engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, says 292 roads were closed as of early Thursday afternoon. Most of the closed roads were in the northeast but most regions had some closures.
Some of the major routes closed by flooding are:
- the eastbound lanes of U.S. 36 near Shelbina;
- U.S. 24 in both directions west of Huntsville in Randolph County and
- U.S. 61 at Alexandria near the Iowa border.
Warbritton says many other state routes in low-lying areas will close as the rain pushes rivers and tributaries over their banks.
He urged Missourians not to try and drive through roads covered by water.
Ameren Missouri announced that it has "de-energized" its substation in De Soto at the request of local fire officials, who were concerned about the risk to electrical safety. The substation provides power to about 5,000 customers. Ameren says it will work with local authorities to determine when customers' power can be restored. The De Soto Fire Department is helping to rescue people from homes and businesses due to flash flooding Thursday.
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