Mississippi River Floods Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard
Flood waters cover the Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard at Washington Avenue, cresting at 35.4 feet Thursday morning, as seen from the Illinois MetroLink platform on the Eads Bridge.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 25, 2013 - The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are urging recreational boaters to refrain from boating on the region's three major rivers.
Large amounts of debris, fast currents, unmarked submerged objects and general dangerous conditions have already resulted in several barge breakaways throughout the region, sinking 200 ft. barges weighing up to 1,500 tons.
Due to extremely hazardous conditions on the Illinois River and the Upper Mississippi River between the Melvin Price Lock and Dam in Alton, Ill., and the Port of St. Louis, the Coast Guard has suspended recreational boating in these locations. In addition to the safety concerns, river conditions make rescue operations very difficult should someone get into trouble. Inundated and nearly submerged levees are also susceptible to damage caused by passing vessel and boat wakes.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is actively supporting flood fighting operations along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and has closed three of its locks to all navigation until flooding subsides. The locks were closed to preserve critical electrical equipment.
In a release, Col. Chris Hall, commander of the Corps' St. Louis District, said, "Public safety is our first priority. Rivers are unpredictable and dangerous in a flood. Even if someone has lived along a river his whole life, he shouldn't assume it will behave the same way during a flood. It's not a good time to be on or near the rivers."
Gov. Nixon Declares State of Emergency and Activated National Guard in Response to Flooding
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 21, 2013 - Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Missouri after a strong storm system that included heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in many parts of the state and to rapidly rising rivers levels on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Mississippi River. At Hannibal, Grafton, Alton, St. Louis, and Chester.
This Flood Warning is a result of heavy rainfall that occurred last week. Additional rainfall is likely Monday night and Tuesday.
The Flood Warning continues for the Mississippi River at St. Louis until Monday April 29.
At 2:00 pm Sunday, April 21, the stage was 33.3 feet. Flood stage is 30.0 feet. The river will crest at 35.0 feet Tuesday morning. At 35.0 feet, moderate flooding begins, so floodgates at Gratiot Road Railroad and Choteau Street have been closed on the riverfront at St. Louis, as well as at Convent Street railroad and Rutger street.
The Governor activated the Missouri National Guard and citizen-soldiers are being deployed to assist the city of Clarksville and other communities along the Mississippi River to assist in the flood fight.
"The sustained periods of heavy rainfall has swollen creeks and streams and is pushing the Mississippi River over flood levels, endangering river communities," Gov. Nixon said. "We will work closely with local officials and volunteers to support and protect communities, and the men and women of the National Guard will play a vital role in this fight."
The State Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the storm system since its activation last week to respond to the severe storms and tornadoes that impacted Missouri on April 10. Gov. Nixon has also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday on Major Appliances
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 19, 2013 - Missouri's fifth annual Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday, which provides shoppers in Missouri the opportunity to save on energy-efficient appliances, begins today, Friday, April 19, and runs through Thursday, April 25.
People who purchase new ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances in Missouri during the holiday will save a minimum of 4.225 percent off their purchase. The reduced price represents the elimination of the state's sales tax from the purchase.
ENERGY STAR®-labeled appliances that qualify for the sales tax exemption are:
Clothes washers, Refrigerators, Freezers, Dishwashers, Water heaters, Furnaces, Air conditioners, Heat pumps
Many local governmental entities have also opted to participate in the holiday. This means qualified purchases in those areas will be exempt not just from the state sales tax, but also city, county and special district sales taxes. Eleven counties, 51 cities and 18 special districts have opted to participate in the holiday. The participating entities can be found at dor.mo.gov/business/sales/taxholiday/green/.
Missouri Named "Best Trails State" in America
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 18, 2013 - Missouri has been named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails, a national, nonprofit organization working on behalf of the nation's hiking, biking and riding trails. The award was announced today at the International Trails Symposium in Arizona. The national award is presented every two years to the state that has made tremendous contributions to promote and improve their trails system.
"Missouri has an outstanding system of trails that can accommodate a wide variety of activities ranging from a short walk to a hike through the wilderness," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "This award is a great honor for our state, and I encourage all Missouri families to get out there and take advantage of this incredible resource found right here in the Show-Me State."
Missouri State Parks offers almost 1,000 miles of managed trails and the state claims more than 500 miles of National Recreation Trails designated by the U.S. Department of Interior. The state lives up to its reputation as "Gateway to the West" with significant trails including the Lewis and Clark, Trail of Tears, Santa Fe National Historic Trails passing through the state and the Pony Express, California, and Oregon National Historic Trails beginning on the western border. Missouri is also the home of the Katy Trail, the longest developed rail-trail in the nation.
"Missourians can walk, hike or bicycle on 230 incredibly diverse trails throughout the state park system," said Sara Parker Pauley, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. "Spending time outdoors exploring our trail system not only provides us with a great adventure, it also provides us with an opportunity to improve our overall health and well-being."
"The contributions of staff, volunteers, and support groups have made Missouri's state park trails stand out as the best in the nation," said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. "We are proud of these efforts and look forward to continuing work to build on our network so even more families can enjoy trails in our state," added Bryan while accepting the award on behalf of Missouri State Parks.