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Gov. Jay Nixon Calls In The National Guard To Aid Tornado-Torn Towns

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John Bonenberger pick through debris after a tornado touched down February, 29, 2012  in Harrisburg, Illinois, wiping out his strip mall. (credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

John Bonenberger pick through debris after a tornado touched down February, 29, 2012 in Harrisburg, Illinois, wiping out his strip mall. (credit: Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon has activated the National Guard to assist with coordination and recovery in storm-damaged southern Missouri.

National Guard officials said Wednesday about 50 members will also help provide additional security in the Branson area, where high winds damaged numerous buildings.

Nixon issued a disaster declaration Wednesday and says state agencies are working with local officials to coordinate recovery operations and meet the needs of residents affected by the storms.

A violent weather system moved into Missouri late Tuesday and blasted its way across the southern tier into early Wednesday. Three deaths, dozens of injuries and widespread damage were reported from the southwest to the Bootheel.

Nixon toured some storm-damaged areas Wednesday and planned visits Thursday to Buffalo in the southwest and Puxico and Oak Ridge in the southeast.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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