Rain finally arrives in drought-hit areas of U.S.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:23pm EDT

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - Weekend storms produced heavy rain in some parts of the drought-stricken central United States but gave other areas scant relief from the worst drought since 1956 and the widespread damage it has done to crops across the Midwest.

Central Kansas received the most rain on Saturday and Sunday, three to four inches in many areas and six inches in some spots, according to the National Weather Service. Topeka and Wichita, after months of extreme drought, broke rainfall records for any August 25 with close to three inches in each city.

In Missouri, rainfall totals ranged from a 1/2-inch to two inches in the hard-hit western and southwestern counties.

"It's a good enough rain to help crops, or what's left of them - such as soybeans - but it will not fill any reservoirs," said weather service meteorologist Jay Colucci in Springfield, Missouri.

Most of northern Arkansas, where exceptional drought has dried up streams in the Ozark Mountains, received only traces to less than a half inch of rain Saturday and Sunday, said weather service meteorologist Brian Smith in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Oklahoma fared better, getting two or three inches in some areas, said weather service forecaster Daryl Williams in Norman, Oklahoma.

"It's a start," Williams said. "But I always say that it takes several months to get into a drought and it will take several months of above average rainfall to get out of it. This rain is encouraging but certainly not a drought-buster."

(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Jackie Frank)

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