More Rain in Midwest

Flood waters from the Black River is seen south of Poplar Bluff, Mo., on Friday, March 21, 2008. The Coon Island levee near Poplar Bluff, Mo., broke around noon Thursday, and authorities were preparing to conduct water rescues if necessary. (AP Photo/Dan Gill)
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Winfield, Mo. (AP) Severe thunderstorms rattled northern Missouri early today threatening to add even more rain to the swollen, flooding Mississippi river.

Even before the latest storms, crews had long labored to strengthen the earthen levee at Winfield, Missouri, from dirt slides and spots where water has been bubbling up through the sandy soil. The earthen structure was barely holding up even before it started raining again, and its fragile state is showing increasing signs of collapse.

Northern Illinois has had as much as eight inches of rain since Tuesday night. That's adding water to about four rivers that feed into the Mississippi. And that could mean another round of crests for riverfront communities that have already been hammered this
month.

President Bush yesterday added 22 Missouri counties to the federal disaster declaration list, giving them access to federal funding for their recovery.