drought

Mississippi River
4:59 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

National Weather Service Forecast Calling For Ongoing Problems With River

Mississippi River Basin
Credit (via NASA/Goddard Conceptual Image Lab)

An updated Mississippi River forecast is predicting that  low-water levels will likely linger throughout the winter.  The forecast exacerbates concerns that shipping may be impacted along a key stretch near St. Louis.

The latest outlook by National Weather Service Hydrologist Mark Fuchs shows that without significant rain, the river at St. Louis will likely fall to dangerously low levels by the end of December

Read more
Shipping
2:57 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Water Fight: Drought, Farming, Fracking And The Midwest's Tense Shipping Situation

Barge workers on the Mississippi River near St. Louis on Dec. 2, 2012. Low river levels have caused significant issues for the shipping industry on the river.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

Politicians across the Midwest are continuing to press the President to declare a state of emergency on the Mississippi River to allow barge traffic to keep flowing.

Every year roughly $180 billion worth of freight makes its way up and down the river.

Now, a record shortage of water on the nation’s major inland waterways is expected to put upward pressure on everything from food items to electricity.

The drought effect

Read more
2012 Drought
11:24 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Nation's Drought Gets Worse

The nation's drought has worsened after several weeks of improvement.
Credit (Map courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center)

A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades is getting worse again, ending an encouraging five-week run of improving conditions.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report shows that 60.1 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The portion of the lower 48 states in extreme or exceptional drought - the two worst classifications - also rose, to 19.04 percent from last week's 18.3 percent.

Read more
Business
5:24 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Army Corps Moving Forward With Plans To Reduce Flow On Missouri River

Low water on Mississippi River could get lower
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Businesses that work and ship on the Mississippi River are seeking a presidential declaration keep water flowing out of reservoirs on the Missouri River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closes dams in South Dakota at this time every year to store water to maintain levels later in the spring and summer.

The Missouri River accounts for roughly 60 percent of the water flowing by St. Louis. In a drought-year like this year, George Foster of St. Louis’ J.B. Marine says reducing river levels would risk closing the shipping channel.

Read more
Barge Shipping
12:17 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Nixon: Keep Water On Rivers Flowing, Economy With It

A barge on the Mississippi River.
(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Updated 12:29 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the barge industry are imploring the federal government to keep water flowing on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers or face potential "economic disaster."

The drought has left many waterways at historic lows. Nixon sent a letter Friday urging the Army Corps of Engineers to rethink plans to reduce the amount of water released from the Missouri's upstream reservoir. That would also reduce flow on the Mississippi below St. Louis.

Read more
Bobwhite Quail
6:41 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Bobwhite Quail Makes Comeback In Mo., Thanks To Hot Dry Summer

Mo. Dept. of Conservation

This summer’s devastating drought and heat wave actually benefited some of Missouri’s native birds, in particular the bobwhite quail.


Bobwhite quail build their nests on the ground, and the hot and dry weather from both this summer and last provided better conditions for incubation.  Max Alleger is a wildlife ecologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC).  He says the bobwhite quail population took a big hit in 2008 due to record-setting rainfall, as it was hard for them to keep their eggs warm on wet ground.

Read more
drought conditions
5:22 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Drought Conditions In Mo. Improve Slightly, Still Dry For Long Term

U.S. Drought Monitor map, as of Oct. 4th, 2012.
National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

Missouri’s overall drought picture remains dry, although there is some slight improvement in portions of the Show-Me State.

The latest map shows the drought still covering the entire state, and most of it in the severe category – although three pockets of land where drought conditions are only moderate have grown slightly larger over the past two weeks.  Those pockets are located in northeast, east-central and southwest Missouri.  Mark Svoboda is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:17 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:39 am

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more
drought conditions
5:47 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Drought improves in Mo., but still expected to continue

U.S. Drought Monitor map, as of Sept. 18th, 2012.
National Drought Mitigation Center, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln

Drought conditions have eased across most of Missouri, but some parts of the state are still very dry.


Much of the relief can be credited to the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, which moved through the Show-Me State three weeks ago.  Brian Fuchs is a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He says, though, that portions of Missouri missed out.

Read more
Barge Shipping
2:00 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Emergency repair at Lock 27 has barge traffic at a standstill

Stikywikit Flickr

Updated 1:45 p.m. Lock 27 reopened this morning at 3:30 a.m. after being closed for 5 days. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, it may take up to 72 hours to push through the  63 vessels and 455 barges, some from as far as New Orleans, that backed up during the closure. The Corps estimated that the closure cost nearly $3 million per day . Lock 27 underwent major rehab in the past few years and was damaged due to low water levels.

Our original story:

Read more

Pages