Gov. Jay Nixon detailed the state’s response to the dangerous flooding throughout Missouri at the Highway Patrol headquarters in Jefferson City on Monday.
Nixon said the floods have killed 10 people — nine of them died when trying to drive through flooded roadways.
Nixon stressed multiple times to never drive through a flooded roadway. He said to turn around and find a different route.
“We’re a long way from the finish of this and I would ask folks not to lose their focus here and the things that the colonial and others have stressed about not driving in water are extremely important,” the governor said.
Highway patrol officials said more than 280 roads are closed across the state. Troopers have responded to around 140 flood-related service calls and have conducted more than 30 water rescues.
Nixon declared a state of emergency on Sunday. He said the state was prepared and emergency personnel have been working around the clock.
“We watch this sort of stuff very very carefully,” Nixon said.
“We saw this weather event coming. Our folks as well as patrol pre-positioned resources prior to the first rain coming and we had folks out in the field working with local folks during the entirety of this response and we continue today.”
Nixon said he’ll wait until after the damage estimates come in to make the decision about requesting federal disaster relief.