Mississippi River

Economy
8:15 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Drought Concerns Remain For Barge Industry

Credit (via Flickr/The Confluence)

The barge industry again raised concerns Wednesday about the impact low water levels on the Mississippi River will have on shipping.

According to a new report from American Waterways Operators, low water could affect more than 8,000 jobs along the river. The group's spokeswoman, Ann McCulloch, says the situation isn't expected to improve any time soon.

"We're definitely worried about the immediate impact if commerce is severely impaired," said McCulloch.  "We're at that stage already and at this point it can only get worse."

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Economy
6:57 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Mississippi Levels Drop, Barge Traffic Could Halt Mid-January

via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

Updated 3:13 p.m. Dec. 28

The Mississippi River's water level is dropping again and barge industry trade groups warn that river commerce could essentially come to a halt by mid-January.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports ice on the northern section of the Mississippi is reducing flow more than expected.

Despite that fact, the Coast Guard remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open.

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Mississippi River
10:43 am
Tue December 18, 2012

More Water For Missouri River - But What About The Mississippi Situation?

"As the river levels drop river depth decreases and the river banks recede. As a result the fleeting areas (areas where barges are picked up and dropped off) move closer to the channel. This makes for tight quarters while vessels navigate the river."
via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

Updated 2:10 p.m. with information about excavation and blasting.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. to include comments from Jody Farhat of the Corps of Engineers.

The amount of water flowing into the lower Missouri River will be increased this week because of concerns about colder temperatures, but the increase isn't likely to boost the level of the Mississippi River downstream.

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Economy
3:10 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Illinois Leaders Meet In Alton To Discuss Mississippi Drought

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, in Alton, Ill.
Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois politicians and business leaders met in Alton on Monday to discuss ongoing efforts to keep shipping open on the drought-stricken Mississippi River.

The meeting coincides with work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove rock formations from the riverbed just south of Cape Girardeau.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin called the drought situation “a historic challenge," saying that additional measures may have to be taken to keep commerce functioning.

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shipping
2:04 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Corps Increasing Flow From Ill. Reservoir To Aid Shippers

Credit (via Flickr/The Confluence)

The Army Corps of Engineers has started releasing more water from Carlyle Lake in Illinois to help keep barges moving along the Mississippi River.

Army Corps of Engineers Spokesman Mike Peterson says they had a pretty good idea this summer’s brutal drought would cause big shipping problems in the fall and winter.

So, they held back water in Carlyle Lake, which is a little over 50 miles east of St. Louis, because it's one of the region's few reservoirs with a little extra water from rain.  

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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

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Mississippi River
11:03 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Corps Of Engineers Decides Against Releasing More Water For Mississippi

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

A top Army Corps of Engineers official says she believes the low Mississippi River will remain open to shipping, partly justifying the agency's decision to not release more water from the Missouri River into the Mississippi.

Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, in a Thursday letter obtained by The Associated Press, tells lawmakers from Mississippi River states that the agency won't be scaling back the amount of Missouri River water it began withholding last month from the Mississippi.

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Business
6:06 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Upstream States Lay Claim To Water Bound For Mississippi

Credit Kelly Martin / Via Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers in states up upstream on the Missouri River are bracing for a fight if any action is taken to reopen dams on the Missouri River.

Northern states say their need for water is just as important as moving barges on the Mississippi River.

So far the President is staying out of the water war between states in the Mississippi River watershed, which includes the Missouri River.

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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

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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.

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