Gov. Nixon deploys National Guard to southwest Missouri in response to deadly tornadoes

Press Release

Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital, schools and hundreds of homes and businesses.

Emergency personnel walk through a neighborhood severely damaged by a tornado near the Joplin Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 22, 2011. A large tornado moved through much of the city, damaging a hospital, schools and hundreds of homes and businesses.

Gov. Jay Nixon this evening activated the Missouri National Guard in response to tornadoes and severe storms that moved through the state earlier this evening. The storms have caused significant destruction in multiple areas, including Joplin, where a tornado struck St. John's Regional Medical Center.

The Governor has declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the State Emergency Operations Center. State and local law enforcement agencies, including fire mutual aid, are coordinating search and rescue and recovery operations. The Missouri State Highway Patrol also is deploying troopers from other regions to support local officers in southern Missouri. Specialized emergency response teams, including Missouri's Disaster Medical Assistance Team 1 (MO-1 DMAT) are deploying to the area to provide aid and assistance.

"These storms have caused extensive damage across Missouri, and they continue to pose significant risk to lives and property," Gov. Nixon said. "As a state, we are deploying every agency and resource available to keep Missouri families safe, search for the missing, provide emergency medical care, and begin to recover. I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to deploy Citizen-Soldiers and assets to support local law enforcement agencies with emergency coordination and recovery, and other state assets have been mobilized to provide emergency support as well. I urge Missourians to keep a close eye on the latest weather information and to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency personnel as these deadly storms continue to move through our state."

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211. The 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626. Weather and emergency information also are available on the state of Missouri's website, MO.gov.

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