Remnants of Isaac
1:48 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

The remnants of Isaac pass through the region

*This story will be updated 

*Updated Sunday at 2:45 p.m. with details river levels and drought relief 

Large parts of rural Missouri and Illinois had between three to five inches of rainfall this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

In St. Louis, Nation Weather Service Meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said Oakville received three and a half inches of rain, the most in the metropolitan area. 

Gosselin added, though, that it will take much more rain to snap this summer’s historic drought.

“It’s going to take at least several weeks of near normal to probably above normal rainfall where we get a couple of rain events each week, especially widespread events where we’d eliminate the drought entirely,” Gosselin said.  “That would probably take weeks if not months. “

Gosselin said extended projections call for normal to above normal rainfall for September, but below normal accumulation for October and November.

Relief for barge shippers, at least temporarily

The Mississippi River level in St. Louis is expected to temporarily jump more than three feet. 

America’s Central Port Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer said that should provide relief to barge shippers who have struggle with low water levels for most of the summer, which forced shippers to lighten their loads to keep from running aground.

And lighter loads means shippers have been making less per barge.     

“We should be able to load those barges a little bit heavier, a little bit fuller for a short period of time,"  Wilmsmeyer  said.  "And we’re just going to have to watch the forecast here, hope for some more rain.  Hopefully that river level will continue to rise or at least stay higher than it has been for the last month and half or two months.”

However, Wilmsmeyer said the massive deluge this weekend is only expected to elevate the river level for a week or so.  

*Update with details of tornados in SE Missouri

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are spinning off tornadoes in southeast Missouri and dumping several inches of rain on the state.

Frank Casteel of the Butler County Sheriff's Department says two tornadoes touched down in the county late Saturday afternoon. But the only damage he knew of was some power lines on fire.

Casteel says the sheriff witnessed one of the tornadoes touch down in a rural area about 11 miles northeast of Popular Bluff. Trained storm spotters saw the second tornado cut a five-mile path through the southeastern part of the county.

In Missouri's Bootheel region, Dunklin County sheriff's deputies are tracking a tornado that destroyed a farm shop and damaged a home's roof.

Original story, posted at 1:48 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1.

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac will soak many Midwestern farm fields over the coming days and it’s already dropped five inches or more of rain in parts of the Metro East.

For many of the regions farmers it’s too late to salvage many drought ravaged crops.

Greg Guether farms corn and soybeans in west central Illinois and it’s been awhile since he’s seen this kind of rain.

“Yeah, I kind of forgot what it was like,” Guether joked.  

Even though it’s too late to save his corn, what’s left of Isaac could give his soybeans a helping hand.   

“The biggest benefit from these rains coming now, though, is replenishing soil moisture and getting us in better shape for next year,” Guether said.  

And National Weather Service forecaster Mark Britt says there’s plenty more rain to come in the next day or so, with accumulation ranging from one to three inches. 

“The heaviest amounts will be from St. Louis on to the east.”

Isaac has brought headaches, too.

Lasting night small tornadoes were reported in the northern parts of the metro area.  The twisters were especially unusual, appearing for a few minutes then pogoing back into the clouds.  

Nevertheless, Lance Lecomb, a spokesman for the The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), said things haven’t been as bad as the agency thought they could be.   As of Saturday afternoon, the agency had received 59 calls to its customer service line, 22 of those were for street flooding.  

Lecomb said there was no serious street flooding and most of the problems were caused by sudden, intense downpours that quickly dissipated.