The Mississippi River, one of the hallmarks of American landscape, is no longer the expansive, grand river it once was. Decades of constructing levees, dams and other systems for managing floods have whittled it down to a series of pools, dramatically altering its ecosystem.
I just finished reading Paul Schneider's, "The Mississippi River in North American History." What a great read and what an amazing river. Cultures and entire civilizations have left their mark along this incredible waterway. We can view art and artifacts of the people living in and around the Mississippi now and those that perished thousands of years ago and throughout the ages in our arts and cultural institutions.
From transporting Native Americans to the founding of the United States and beyond, the Mississippi River is an integral part of American history.
In his new book, Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History, author Paul Schneider weaves together all of these stories and more to tell the greater story of a continent formed and transformed by a river which both divides and unites.
MSD says the Mississippi River has dropped enough to turn the pumps back on at Watkins Creek, ending the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river. The agency is asking that residents continue to avoid floodwaters in the area of the station, which is in the 11000 block of Riverview in Spanish Lake.
A storm system that's dropping snow on the western half of the state will bring up to four inches of rain to the St. Louis area by Sunday.
But don't expect much in the way of flash flooding, says National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs.
"We're not necessarily expecting flash flooding in the classic sense - where you see a very quick rising water coming down the stream," Fuchs said. "But with that being said, there will be some roads in poor drainage areas that could go underwater."
The Coast Guard is assessing the environmental impact of roughly 300 gallons of crude oil it says spilled into the Mississippi River after more than a dozen barges briefly broke free near Alton, Ill.
The Coast Guard says a vessel hit an area where barges are docked on the river about 1 a.m. this morning, causing 14 to break away from their moorings. Those barges then hit another barge loading crude oil, which caused the spill of about seven barrels (300gallons) worth of oil.
Two freshman Congressmen from southern Illinois want the Army Corps of Engineers to start thinking of ways it can coordinate management of the Mississippi River to keep cargo traffic flowing during droughts or floods.
"The bill would have the Corps treat the entire drainage system as one entity," said Democrat Bill Enyart, a co-sponsor along with Republican Rodney Davis. "How do you balance someone getting to go boating against being able to get barges full of soybeans and corn out to feed the world? As it stands today, we can't balance those."
The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that 13 coal barges became dislodged from their tow vessel near Cape Girardeau on Sunday morning, three of which partially sank into the Mississippi. So, what happened?
Most of the 25 barges were soon accounted for after the vessel struck an object around 10:30 a.m. At this time, it is still not clear what that object was.
The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Cape Girardeau was closed for a little more than one hour as a precaution, but it was not struck.
Mayors from more than a dozen cities and towns along the Mississippi River rallied Thursday in the nation’s capital for more federal attention for the waterway.
The mayors, members of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, will work with the newly-formed Mississippi River Caucus. That's a bi-partisan group of members of Congress. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is co-chair of the initiative.