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      Missouri River flooding could be worse this spring

      It's not even spring, but residents of some river towns in Missouri are getting a little jittery as minor flooding has begun early this year.

      In Jefferson City, the Missouri River crested around mid-day Monday at 23.8 feet. That's just less than a foot above flood stage.

      The Missouri River at Boonville is also high; levels there are five feet above the flood stage.

      While National Weather Service experts note it is difficult to make long-term flooding predictions, officials said if heavy rain continues to fall this spring, mid-Missouri could likely see more flooding concerns in the coming months.

      A weather service hydrologist said there are two main reasons for this prediction:

      First, the soil, both in central Missouri and upstream, is very wet. Rain from last fall was frozen in the soil this winter and is just now running off.

      A second cause for flooding concern is large amounts of snow in the Missouri River's northern states.

      Both the snow and soil moisture mean it will take less rainfall than normal to see flooding along the Missouri River.

      Those factors have already caused much more severe flooding along the Missouri in North Dakota and Iowa.

      While there has been limited property damage in these northern states, residents are getting ready, packing sand bags and even evacuating.

      The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the following towns along the Missouri River

      • St. Joseph
      • Napoleon
      • Waverly
      • Boonville