The Buzz

Gov. Jay Nixon appears fully engaged as eastern Missouri copes with record flooding

Nixon on Saturday
Nixon on Saturday

Just a quick observation from far western Missouri — far from the tragedy and chaos that Missourians in flood-ravaged eastern Missouri are facing these days.

But from this vantage point, it appears that Gov. Jay Nixon is all over this thing.

Saturday presented a case in point. That afternoon, Nixon formally requested a federal emergency declaration to speed the removal of massive piles of debris.

“I’m requesting federal resources for debris removal to speed the recovery process and ease the burden on strained local communities,” Nixon said in a statement.

Specifically, Nixon was seeking help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to collect and dispose of tons of water-logged junk.

On Saturday night, President Barack Obama approved the request, which Nixon described as a key step so that “rebuilding can begin.”

Obama’s agreement was hardly a surprise. But it’s a sign that Nixon is keeping the recovery wheels turning, and it was just one development in a day full of them.

Earlier Saturday, Nixon met with elected officials and law enforcement and emergency management leaders in Eureka to brief them on his request for federal assistance. Before arriving, Nixon and key members of his emergency response team inspected the flooding by air.

Also Saturday morning, Nixon was in in Cape Girardeau to inspect conditions there and meet with elected officials and emergency managers.

In other words, he’s here, there and everywhere, which is where you want a leader to be at a time like this.

Nixon was derided for his slow response to the rising unrest in Ferguson more than a year ago. The Jay Nixon we’re seeing now appears to be similar to the one who responded so thoroughly to the devastating 2011 Joplin tornado.

We’re quick to point blame when things go awry. We should be equally quick to applaud when leaders do what they’re supposed to do.