Mississippi River drought may impact shipping

CREATED Dec 12, 2012

  • Print
  • The Garvin Heights overlook above Winona, Minn., offers a must-see view of the Mississippi River Valley and into Wisconsin. Image by Jamie Edwards

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- An updated Mississippi River forecast isn't showing the waterway's low levels improving as worries linger that shipping may be impacted along a key stretch.
The latest outlook by National Weather Service hydrologists shows the river at St. Louis falling to about 9 feet deep by Dec. 30, a day later than earlier predicted. The Coast Guard has said further restrictions on barge traffic are likely if the river dips to that depth.
The depth in St. Louis as of Wednesday was about 12 feet.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said Tuesday the Army Corps of Engineers could have crews destroying barge-impeding rock pinnacles on the river south of St. Louis as early as next week. Such work is an important step in keeping the river open to barges.