Mississippi River rising, but break in sight

The Mississippi River is continuing its slow rise at several Missouri and Illinois towns, but there is reason for optimism after overnight rainfall wasn't as bad as predicted.

Spurred by heavy recent rains to the north, the Mississippi rose sharply over the past two weeks, reaching major flood levels from central Iowa south to near St. Louis. Storms brought strong winds, hail and still more rain to northern Missouri and western Illinois Monday night and Tuesday morning.

But rainfall amounts were generally less than 2 inches. National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin says that means the river level shouldn't go up much, if at all.

The forecast is also promising, with dry conditions expected in the river basin for the next two to three days.