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An aerial view from a Missouri National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the effects of flooding in Pacific, Mo., Dec. 30, 2015. Missouri Army National Guard photo by Cpl. Alex Flynn.

More than 600 members of the National Guard spent the new year battling heavy floods in Missouri and Illinois, which claimed the lives of at least 20 people, according to a Dec. 31 release. Several hundred airmen and soldiers were mobilized from several states after states of emergency were declared in Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri, states the release. The vast majority of those activated—more than 500—were members of the Missouri Guard. The Guardsmen helped direct traffic away from road closures, provided security, helped with sandbagging and levee monitoring, and produced potable water. “We have a team of seasoned leaders who are well-versed in responding to state emergencies,” said Army Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. The “Missouri National Guard has supported 14 state emergencies since 2009, including major flooding in 2011.”