CLAYTON, MO. (KPLR) – From oil companies to river industry groups, all have the same problem; low river levels on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The river level at St. Louis has dropped another foot and is still dropping.
With no relief in sight from an historic drought affecting a great portion of the United States, reservoirs in upper plains states are operating at a much reduced level and the same can be said of water reserves in the upper Mississippi River states. Some have been releasing from those reservoirs, but not enough to keep river levels up, to allow free flow of commercial traffic on the Mississippi River.
It’s estimated that the main channel at St. Louis is between 10-15 feet and farther south between Cairo, IL. and Memphis, TN. the level is even lower.
Barge officials are saying if something isn’t done soon, barge traffic could grind to a near halt.
Calls from industry groups, are now being joined by some politian’s, seeking emergency help from President Obama, to order the Army Corp of Engineers to release more water into the Mississippi and Missouri River systems.
Web Links on River Levels and Drought Condition:
Mississippi River At St. Louis
U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook November 15, 2012-February 28, 2013