AGRIBUSINESS: Growing Concern for Mississippi River

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Concern about the Mississippi River is growing as ice is further reducing water levels.

Some now predict barge traffic could come to a halt in the next two weeks. The river level is projected to drop another three-feet at the river gauge in Thebes, Illinois on January 7th - which equates to a ten-foot deep channel or nine-foot operating draft on barges.

As such - the Army Corps of Engineers expects new limitations on river traffic will go into place. With no relief in sight - it’s predicted the river gauge at Thebes will indicate an eight-foot depth come January 23rd.

The Coast Guard has indicated traffic will remain open - but the Waterways Council and the American Waterways Operators have suggested that further limitations on barges would result in a de facto closure as commercial traffic grinds to a halt.