Missouri Task Force 1 sent to southern Missouri

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | 2:20 p.m. CDT; updated 1:17 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Missouri Task Force 1 was deployed to Wayne County on Tuesday night to help residents in flooded areas, said Gale Blomenkamp, division chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District.

Because of the heavy rains of the past two days and flash flooding that has occurred in southern Missouri, swiftwater rescuers — people specially trained for rescue from moving water — and equipment from the St. Louis area were sent to Piedmont. Soon after arriving, they asked for help from Missouri Task Force 1.

Blomenkamp said Task Force 1 sent a “light” task force of 21 people with swiftwater rescue training, along with boats, ropes, life jackets and other equipment, to Wayne County on Tuesday night around 9, and they arrived at 3:30 a.m. today. They were given permission to search and provide help to people where needed in the towns of Mill Springs and Leeper, and they finished around 10 a.m. today, Blomenkamp said. They ’re now headed to Poplar Bluff, where there are reports of a broken levee.

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