AP) – Missouri’s governor has declared a state of emergency because of widespread flooding that has led to at least eight fatalities.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings Sunday for several sections of Missouri, where three to six inches of rain fell during the weekend, and up to four inches more of rain was expected through Monday.
Gov. Jay Nixon’s office said Sunday that weekend flooding has led to eight deaths, dozens of water rescues and evacuations. More flooding is expected while river levels continue rising around the state.
“Widespread flooding and continued rainfall are causing very dangerous conditions across much of central and southern Missouri,” Nixon said in an emailed release. “Multiple fatalities due to flash flooding have already been reported, and I urge Missourians in flood-affected areas to stay alert, avoid travel if possible and never drive into a flooded roadway.”
He said the state Emergency Operations Plan has been activated, allowing state agencies to coordinate with local authorities to provide emergency services.
Several roadways across the state were closed Sunday afternoon, including eastbound and westbound sections of Interstate 70 in St. Charles County near St. Louis, where flooding from the Dardenne Creek came across the roadway and had motorists backed up for miles before its closure.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said in an emailed release that the interstate was expected to reopen late Sunday night or early Monday