Nixon declares state of emergency for Missouri

      Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in response to a winter storm sweeping across the state.

      Nixon said Thursday that the State Emergency Operations Center has been activated. The declaration also allows state agencies to coordinate directly with cities and counties to provide emergency services.

      The governor issued the declaration from his office in the Capitol, where he was one of only a few people actually in the building. The House and Senate canceled their sessions Thursday, and most of their offices were closed.

      A lone tour guide staffed a Capitol reception desk, but no one had braved the snow to visit the Capitol.

      Traffic was light in downtown Jefferson City around lunchtime, and some businesses near the Capitol were closed.

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