National Guard Called to Help in St. Louis

JULY 20, 2006 - Posted at 4:11 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS, MO - Governor Blunt is directing the Missouri National Guard to help clear debris and evacuate people in St. Louis from hot homes to cooling centers.

Mayor Francis Slay asked the governor to send 250 Guardsmen to help.

Slay says the city's poorest neighborhoods, where many elderly and disabled live, will be evacuated first.

The city also is using public address speakers and sending volunteers door-to-door to check on people.

The city evacuated three nursing homes where power was out.

Police said a 14-year-old is in critical condition from carbon monoxide poisoning after the family used a generator to air condition the home.

Officials with AmerenUE say it may be three to five days before electricity can be completely restored in the St. Louis area following last night's severe storm.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)