Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency Tuesday because of flash flooding and worsening weather conditions that also prompted Amtrak to suspend its River Runner route and Rocheport to issue a call for help bagging sand.
The flooding also led to the cancellation of the 31st annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Airshow, originally scheduled to be held this weekend at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.
“The river is expected to crest tomorrow at over 2 feet past flood stage, rendering our show impossible,” Salute to Veterans media chair Jessica Houston said in an email Tuesday.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, 2 feet of rushing water is enough to carry away most vehicles. The Jefferson City airport has already been evacuated.
All events Saturday and Sunday are canceled, but Monday’s Memorial Day parade is scheduled to proceed as planned. Jefferson City officials will finalize their decision on the parade by Thursday, according to a Facebook post from Salute to Veterans.
The show was moved to Jefferson City this year because of construction at the Columbia Regional Airport, according to previous Missourian reporting.
The state of emergency was declared after first responders performed water rescues in Jasper and Newton counties Monday and Tuesday. A severe storm Monday night in Hickory County sent four people to the hospital after campers were flipped by the storm.
“Ongoing and forecast severe storm systems have caused, or have the potential to cause, damage associated with tornadoes, high winds, hail, heavy rains, flooding and flash flooding,” the executive order said.
The Rocheport Area Merchants Association took to Facebook on Tuesday seeking volunteers willing to bag sand Wednesday morning.
Amtrak canceled the Missouri River Runner route for Wednesday and Thursday because of the severe weather conditions, according to the Amtrak Alerts Twitter account.
This route runs from Kansas City to St. Louis, including a stop in Jefferson City. Tuesday and Wednesday’s service of the Southwest Chief route between Kansas City and Hutchinson, Kansas, was also halted. The train routes will be replaced by buses.
“I urge all Missourians to closely follow their local weather forecasts, take storm warnings seriously, and quickly act to protect themselves and their families when necessary,” Parson said in a release Tuesday.
According to Parson’s executive order, the state of emergency will last until June 21 unless extended.