Obama declares emergency in Missouri following severe flooding

At least 31 people have been killed across four US states over the last two weeks

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Image: Jeff Roberson / AP/Press Association Images

President Barack Obama has declared an emergency in Missouri following severe floods there.

It means federal aid can be used to help state and local response efforts to storms that began nearly two weeks ago.

At least 31 people have been killed across Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois as a result of the severe weather conditions over the Christmas period.

Thousands of properties have also been evacuated near the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon asked for the emergency declaration, saying they are committed to meeting "an historic flood... with an historic response, in speed as well as in breadth".

Mr Nixon added that the severity of the situation is "almost as if you're living on some other planet".

Reuters reports that counties in Illinois have been declared disaster areas.