“With a gauge at the tricky section of the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., already registering a remarkably low water level — and projections that it will fall further in coming days and weeks — trade groups are warning that barge traffic through that part of the river may have to halt completely as soon as next week.
The Army Corps of Engineers, as Marketplace Sustainability reports, continues to move and break up rocks in that stretch of the river in an effort to keep the shipping channel open for about 180 miles from St. Louis to Cairo, Ill., where the Mississippi meets the Ohio River. Traffic has already been slowed. Ships can only pass through at night, when the Army Corps isn’t working.
Reuters notes that the Corps has also “released water from a southern Illinois lake into the river to aid transportation.” But the ongoing drought across much of the nation’s midsection and ice upriver that is slowing water headed downstream mean the situation above Cairo is likely to only get worse.”
Read more: NPR