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More rain forecast for rain-weary Midwest

Soybeans lie ruined in a flooded field outside of La Grange, Missouri, June 21, 2008. Floodwaters from the Mississippi and Iowa Rivers may have destroyed up to 15% of the this year's corn and soybean crops from Illinois and Iowa. (UPI Photo/Mark Cowan)

ST. LOUIS, June 26 (UPI) -- Heavy rains and forecasts for more rain dashed officials' hopes of taking pressure off rain-soaked levees holding back the Mississippi River north of St. Louis.

The National Weather Service predicts the Mississippi to rise until at least Friday at St. Louis and points upstream, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Severe weather is expected to target the Upper Midwest through Friday, AccuWeather.com reported, renewing flooding problems in the mid-Mississippi Valley area. Waves of thunderstorms were forecast to move across the area Thursday with the potential of producing damaging winds, hail, locally heavy downpours and tornadoes.

Meanwhile St. Louis and 22 counties in Missouri were declared federal disaster areas, which will help defray flood-control costs and cleanup, officials said. One immediate effect: The government will pick up 75 percent of the cost of sandbags, bottled water and other necessities.

Image Left: Farm fields in low-lying areas around Buffalo, Iowa, are just beginning to emerge from flood waters on June 23, 2008. Receding floodwaters from the Mississippi river have left massive crop destruction throughout Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.Officials expect at least 3 billion in damage and a loss of 15% of corn and soybean crops in Iowa. (UPI Photo/Mark Cowan)
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