Madison
68° F
Clear
Clear
Advertisement

Drought threatens to close Mississippi to barges

Published On: Nov 30 2012 06:59:14 AM CST
ST. LOUIS -

After months of drought, companies that ship grain and other goods down the Mississippi River are being haunted by a potential nightmare: If water levels fall too low, the nation's main inland waterway could become impassable to barges just as the harvest heads to market.

Any closure of the river would upend the transport system that has carried American grain since before steamboats and Mark Twain. So shipping companies are scrambling to find alternative ways to move crops to the Gulf Coast.

The focus of greatest concern is a 180-mile stretch of the river between St. Louis, MO and Cairo, Ill. That's where lack of rain has squeezed the channel from its normal width of 1,000 feet or more to a just a few hundred feet of shallow waters.

Advertisement
  • American flag hanging down

    Memorial Day by the numbers

    Memorial Day is a time to reflect on those who've died in service to the country while also being widely considered the unofficial start to summer for many Americans. Take a look at the numbers behind the holiday.

  • American flag, soldier's hat, Memorial Day, Veterans Day

    Karen Barefoot/SXC

    Memorial Day: A history in pictures

    As you wrap up the holiday weekend, look back at the history of Memorial Day through old and new images.

  • Misconceptions - Underemployed

    freeimages.com

    Misconceptions about life after college

    Accenture surveyed around 1,000 student who are newly entering the job market for 2016, in addition to those who graduated within the last two years, Yahoo News reports.

    This year overall is looking bright for the class of 2016, but there is data that shows trends new grads shouldn't overlook.

Advertisement