That number is part of the reason
Gov. Jay Nixon says he has signed an executive order declaring a state of
Executive Order 12-07 activates the State Emergency Operations Plan, authorizing state agencies to assist local jurisdictions with their emergency response.
"We're going to continue to work with public health officials, public safety officials and agricultural leaders to alleviate the impact of the heat and drought, but the long-range forecast shows our preparation and response will likely be needed for the foreseeable future," Gov. Nixon said in a statement Monday.
State Agriculture Director John Hagler says the declaration comes none too soon for the state's hardest hit farmers.
"We've got to do everything we can to stabilize this situation -- in addition to praying for rain -- but to stabilize the situation, getting resources to our producers so that they're not run out of business during this."
Hagler says the governor has been on top of the drought situation right from the get-go.
"And (he) continues to focus his attention on where it is needed when it comes to these kinds of emergencies, and this drought certainly is an emergency for our farm families as you well know."
Nixon says in addition to emergency aid needed on the state's farms, he's also concerned with public health, water supplies and fire danger.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has received hospital reports of 829 heat-related emergency department visits from May 1 through July 22.