Tropical Storm Isaac may bring more rain to states impacted by drought along the Mississippi River valley – but experts don’t expect it will eliminate the Midwest drought – though it may ease the drought. The National Weather Service predicts two to six-inches of rain will fall in eastern Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois – areas among those hit hardest by the drought. National Weather Service Hydrologist Marty Pope says heavy rains could provide some relief for low-water conditions hampering traffic along the Mississippi River – which would help quite a bit. Those rains could help the river rise – clearing clogged shipping channels – which have caused companies to reduce barge loads of goods from grain to gasoline.
With more than half of all U.S. counties identified as natural disaster areas mainly due to drought – farmers have been hoping for rain the entire summer – but one farmer from Missouri – Will Spargo – says Isaac is arriving too late to help crops. In fact – the rain could slow down harvest. Still – many farmers and ranchers are pleased with the chance of rain because it could improve soil moisture and help them for next year.