- Associated Press - Sunday, June 21, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The rain-swollen Mississippi River was slowly rising Sunday in several areas south of St. Louis, inconveniencing travelers and inundating farmland.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said floodwaters have closed roads in more than two dozen counties, with the largest concentration of closures in the east-central part of the state.

In Cape Girardeau, the Mississippi River climbed to 10 feet above flood stage Sunday, the National Weather Service said. Police said some roads just outside of the southeast Missouri community were closed and a stretch of Missouri 177 was partially under water. The Mississippi River also was overflowing its banks in the town of Chester, with waters there measured Sunday at 12 feet above flood stage. The river was expected to rise another foot in both cities before cresting Tuesday.

Water levels also were rising Sunday along the Meramec River, which flows into the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Forecasts called for the Meramec to crest Monday in Arnold and Valley Park, causing low-lying areas including parks to flood.

Meanwhile, water levels were falling in most locations along the Missouri River, although minor to moderate flooding continues.

An especially wet spring is fueling the flooding, said Mark Britt, a National Weather Service meteorologist in St. Louis. Precipitation for the year was 3.62 inches above normal in the Kansas City area and 4.69 inches higher than usual in the St. Louis area.

“We’ve just seen a lot of rain the past week or so and that has caused the flooding that we are seeing,” Britt said.

More stormy weather remained in the forecast, with the National Weather Service issuing severe thunderstorm warnings Sunday for about three dozen Missouri counties.

One storm cell that swept through the western part of the state Sunday afternoon temporarily knocked out power at Kansas City International Airport. Joe McBride, an airport spokesman, warned travelers of possible delays in a tweet.

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