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Nixon orders more sand for flood-fighting in Missouri

(Photo courtesy Atchison County Emergency Management)
Levee breach in Atchison County, Missouri, on June 13, 2011.

The state of Missouri is poised to help some of the towns along the Missouri River who may be running out of sand for sandbags.

Governor Jay Nixon is ordering the State Emergency Management Agency to help those fighting flooding along the Missouri River to obtain more sand.  At Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that could provide sand if local supplies are exhausted or running low.

"As river levels continue to rise in Missouri, I have instructed SEMA to work closely with local jurisdictions to ensure that all communities have an adequate supply of sand for their flood fight,” Nixon said in a statement. “In areas where local sand suppliers are unable to keep up with demand, local officials should contact SEMA, which has identified other sand suppliers who can meet their needs."

Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O’Connell says dredging operations, the usual source for sand, have been disrupted along the Missouri River.

“It’s not a good situation," O'Connell said.  "Because the river is high, and it’s moving so swiftly, a lot of the dredging operations that gather the sand cannot operate…so it’s double-whammy, if you will.”

O’Connell says there are vendors in the Kansas City area that can supply sand for sandbags if needed.  He adds that SEMA has identified enough vendors to insure that there are enough sandbags for cities and counties as the floodwaters move down the Missouri River. 


The Associated Press reported on Monday that a shortage of available sand could potentially hamper flood-fighting efforts along the Missouri.

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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