Recent rains enough to end drought in most of Missouri

WAVERLY, Mo. - Rain that's been falling off-and-on all week has helped ease the drought in the Kansas City area. The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions have nearly left Missouri.

That's obvious by looking at rivers and creeks.

Thursday afternoon, the Missouri River was running just under 14 feet deep at Waverly, Mo. It's just below "action" stage and three feet away from flood stage. The National Weather Service expects the water to crest by early Saturday morning and quickly recede.

Central Missouri AGRIservice employee Jason Hilbrenner thinks Waverly has gotten more rain so far this year than in all of 2012.

"Since yesterday morning, 2.5 inches probably. The last few weeks, seven or eight inches I would say," Hilbrenner said.

Waverly bills itself as Missouri's apple capital, so many fruit growers in the area have had their eyes to the skies. At Baltimore Bend Vineyard, owner Sarah Schmidt said the drought sucked away some of her profit potential.

"The berries were smaller, not as much moisture in the berry itself," Schmidt said.

Her seven acres of grapes are not irrigated, so Schmidt completely relies on rain.

"This is going to be a huge relief to us, that the vine health is going to be there, that it leads to us hopefully into a really good growing season for 2013," Schmidt said.

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