View topic - Drought, low water on the Mississippi river

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Drought, low water on the Mississippi river
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Author:  frozentripper [ December 18th, 2012, 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Drought, low water on the Mississippi river

Some news reports are linking this to climate change already... but let's not be too hasty jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in.

Old man ribbah... dat old man ribbah... da Nile is a river in Africa.

Quote:
Barge traffic on historically-low Mississippi River could grind to a halt by Near Year unless Obama moves water from other states


18 December 2012




Barge traffic on the Mississippi River could grind to a halt by the New Year because of historically low water levels.

The choke point is Thebes, Missouri, a small town outside St. Louis, where the water has dropped so low that rusting metal and other hazardous materials are being exposed by the receding river.

Farmers and shipping companies on the Mississippi, which generates $7billion in the winter months, are demanding President Barack Obama order dams on the Missouri River opened to pump more water into the Mississippi and raise the levels.

But, Obama finds himself between bad and worse because experts say that releasing Missouri River water would deprive farmers upstream in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska – who are also struggling with drought.

Record dry spells across the Midwest this year resulted in the Mississippi dropping to historically low water levels, the Atlantic reports.

The river is down 20 feet from this time last year – and winter rains will not recharge it quickly enough raise levels.

Current forecasts show the water level could drop so low in Thebes – the lowest, narrowest channel in the drought-stricken river – that barges will not be able to pass as early as January 1, 2013.

Already, shipping companies are chaining 15 barges together instead of the normal 25 because there simply is not enough water to float the boats.

Barges carry grain, oil and manufactured goods from the Midwest Heartland to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi.

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