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.
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.
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.