- Associated Press - Thursday, May 1, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Mississippi River is flooding in several towns north of St. Louis as a result of recent rains, and the high water will apparently stick around for several days.

The National Weather Service reported Thursday that the Mississippi River is a foot or less above flood stage at Missouri towns that include Canton, Hannibal, Louisiana and Clarksville. By the time the river reaches St. Louis, it is high but within its banks.

Some farm land and country roads were covered in water, but no major problems have been reported.

National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs said it was rain - not traditional spring snowmelt - that caused the flooding.

“We had fairly widespread heavy rain - 1-inch-plus rain from all along the Mississippi River basin in northeast Missouri and west-central Illinois,” Fuchs said. “The river was already high from a big rain event earlier in April.”

The flooding may be minor, but Fuchs said it’s going to stick around for a bit. The weather service projects that the river will remain at or near flood stage for at least a week north of St. Louis. That could be problematic if another big storm rolls in.

“If anything happens in the next week or so on top of that, we could see a pretty decent little flood,” Fuchs said.

The seven-day outlook calls for mostly dry conditions, but the longer-range forecast for the following week offers a chance of more heavy rain. Fuchs said it was too soon to know how much rain could fall, and what impact it might have.

Most other rivers in Missouri remain below flood stage despite the recent rains. The Black River in southeast Missouri had moderate flooding early this week but has now dropped below flood stage.

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