DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Rain that moved across the Midwest in the past week has helped ease drought conditions for some farmers.
The weekly drought monitor report from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska was released Thursday. It shows the rain that caused flooding in some areas of the Midwest helped decrease the drought area from the upper Midwest into the western corn belt and central portions of the Rockies and Great Plains.
But there's a new problem: The heavy rain has left fields muddy in Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois. And that means corn planting will be behind schedule.
All of the country's drought-parched states aren't out of the woods. The report shows drought is intensifying from western Texas into northern California.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Forecasters are predicting minor to moderate flooding in central and eastern Missouri as heavy rains cause the Missouri River to rise up to 15 feet in coming days.
On Friday, the river is expected to crest about 3 feet above flood stage in Glasgow and 5 feet above flood stage in Boonville. By Saturday afternoon, forecasters say the river will surpass flood stage by about 3.5 feet in Jefferson City and 8 feet in Chamois.
On Sunday morning, the river is expected to exceed the flood stage by about 8 feet in Hermann and about 5 feet in Washington.
Two Missouri River tributaries, the Grand and Chariton rivers, also are expected to rise above flood stage. Major flooding is forecast Thursday for Prairie Hill and Chillicothe.
Parts of eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois were hardest hit by rain that began Saturday afternoon and fell through Sunday. Potosi, Mo., got 4.4 inches of rain, Randolph County, Ill., 4.1 inches, Farmington, Mo., 3.9 inches. Combined with heavy rain the previous weekend and two big snows in the weeks before that, all the water is causing rivers to rise.
The National Weather Service cites several rivers at or near flood stage in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana and Iowa. A man was rescued from his flooded car in Perry County, Mo., Sunday. Dozens of roads and thousands of acres of farm land are under water.