JEFFERSON CITY – As river levels begin to crest across the eastern portion of the state, Missouri Guardsmen continue to battle historic flooding to support civil authorities by staffing traffic control points, providing evacuation support, filling sandbags and purifying water.
The water purification and distribution mission is critical for residents in High Ridge who depend on the water treatment plant in Jefferson County, which was contaminated due to floodwaters two days ago, said Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.
“We currently have Soldiers working to provide water to approximately 20,000 people, but the need is greater than our capacity to produce potable water,” said Danner. “I reached out to the Iowa National Guard to augment our Missouri Soldiers.” Danner said.
The Missouri Guard has two Tactical Water Purification System (TWPS), which is a theater-level asset that can produce 30,000 gallons per day, said Lt. Col. Amy Anderson, the chief operations officer for the Joint Operations Center.
“This is a very specific, vital asset and not every state has one,” said Anderson. “Missouri is fortunate to have two and Iowa Guardsmen are bringing a third TWPS to help the local community get the water they need.”
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is an agreement between states to help during state emergencies, is an important part of the process, said Danner.
“When city officials asked for more assets, we did not hesitate call upon our sister state,” said Danner. “In the National Guard, we depend on each other to help in times of need.”
Missouri has several other unique units to include the Homeland Response Force (HRF), said Danner.
“We have the Region 7 HRF for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which covers Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri,” said Danner. “Many of the HRF members are serving during this mission.”
Missouri’s Citizen Soldiers and Airmen will continue working in support of local authorities until released by the governor. The Missouri National Guard has a total force of more than 11,800 Guard members who are “Always Ready, Always There” to respond to an emergency.