ST. LOUIS – There’s been significant improvement in the drought situation. River levels have increased, and now minor flooding is occurring along many of our rivers.

Drought conditions have improved area-wide. As of a month ago, the St. Louis metro area was in a moderate drought, with part of the region in a severe drought.

Now, no one in the viewing area is in a severe drought. Southern counties are abnormally dry or experiencing moderate drought conditions. Much of the area is no longer in a drought at all. The U.S. Drought Monitor says only 19.5% of the state falls under any drought category.

On the flooding front, some area rivers have crested while others are cresting in the next 24 hours.

In St Charles, the Missouri River crested late Tuesday at 27.61 feet. It’s a minor flood stage today as it recedes below 26 feet. The river in St. Charles will be out of flood stage by late Friday. In 1993, the river reached 40 feet in St. Charles

Meanwhile, up in Alton, the Mississippi River is now cresting today at 23.9 feet in minor flood stage. Alton won’t dip below flood stage until early next week. The highest the river has ever been in Alton was at 42 feet in 1993.

At the St Louis riverfront, the National Weather Service hydrology reports now report a second crest happening early tomorrow. The river under the Arch is expected to reach 29.9 feet and will bring little trouble. As we’ve previously reported, the Coast Guard is discouraging recreational boating on the river during this minor flooding. The river should crest just below levels that would require flood gates to be closed in the city.

Meanwhile, down in Arnold, Missouri, the Meramec River is reaching its crest today. At 27.6 feet, the river is well into the minor flood stage. Some low-lying roads along that stretch are closed with those water levels and athletic fields in the flood plan are also taking on water.