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MO Gov. Blunt deploys 50 National Guard troops to Columbia in preparation for more ice storm damage

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Over 100,000 customers in Missouri were still without power Monday afternoon as a result of the weekend ice storm, and more outages are possible as another winter weather system approaches.

Gov. Matt Blunt says he's mobilizing an additional 50 National Guard troops in Columbia, to respond to any further damage that may occur.

"We'll be placing those 50 National Guard (soldiers) on standby, ready to go west or south or north or east, wherever they might be able to be of assistance," Blunt said.

Another 70 National Guard troops are deployed in southwest Missouri to assist those needing help there.

Meanwhile, MODOT has waived enforcement of certain state and federal regulations for truckers taking part in the emergency response.

Blunt is urging Missourians to check on friends, relatives, and neighbors who may need special assistance.

"We were discussing a report that the wind speeds could kick up, and given the heavily-laden branches and trees, that could have a further impact on power distribution," Blunt said.

Missourians who need assistance or who would like to volunteer to help can call toll-free, 888-377-2100.