Nixon calls on national guard as floods force evacuations, cripple travel

Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard on Tuesday to assist as rain-battered communities across the state contend with near-record flooding.

Floods have been blamed for 13 deaths in Missouri and forced the evacuation of at least one community, West Alton in St. Charles County.

High waters have forced hundreds of people from their homes, caused dozens of businesses to suspend operations, and necessitated the closure of more than 225 roads across the state.

Citing high waters and fast currents on the Mississippi River near St. Louis, the U.S. Coast Guard shut down a stretch of the waterway to barge traffic. It gave no indication of when the river would re-open for business.

Storms have also stressed sewer systems in the St. Louis area, where floodwater from the Meramec River killed power to a wastewater treatment plant in Fenton. The facility is expected to be underwater by Thursday, which would mean 6 million gallons of untreated wastewater per day spilling into the Meramec.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio and Missourinet

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