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Parson declares state of emergency as floods force evacuations in northwest Missouri

Rising floodwaters displacing more people in Northwest Missouri

The Missouri River continued to rise to near-record levels on Thursday forcing people to evacuate their homes. Some people in Craig, Mo., in Holt County got their first glimpse of the flooded town.
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The Missouri River continued to rise to near-record levels on Thursday forcing people to evacuate their homes. Some people in Craig, Mo., in Holt County got their first glimpse of the flooded town.

In light of heavy floods in northwestern Missouri with odds of more to come, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Thursday.

“The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants and other critical infrastructure,” Parson said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with our local partners to assess needs and provide resources to help as Missourians continue this flood fight and as we work to assist one another.”

Parson will meet with local emergency management officials in Atchison, Holt and Buchanan counties Thursday afternoon, with a stop at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.

The emergency declaration, made official through executive order, allows for state agencies to give heightened aid to flood survivors and activates the state’s official emergency operations plan.

The Missouri State Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated since March 15, according to a press release. The Missouri National Guard has not been deployed, but have been helping sandbag waterways.

If the state racks up a certain amount of damage in flooded areas, whether to public infrastructure or homes, it could apply for federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Heavy floods have also engulfed Nebraska and Iowa.

The interchange of Interstate 29 and Iowa State Highway 2 near the Iowa-Nebraska border was completely submerged by floodwaters from the Missouri River on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

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Crystal Thomas covers Missouri politics for The Kansas City Star. An Illinois native and a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, she has experience covering state and local government.
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