Sections of the Mississippi River may shut down due to extremely low water levels, according to KTVI-TV.
The recent drought has caused parts of the Mississippi River to dry up. Although many believe an increase in flow from the Missouri River would help these troubled areas, the Army Corps of Engineers is instead cutting back.
If something isn’t done soon to correct the problem, oil, farm, manufacturing, steel, and river industry leaders fear that thousands of jobs will be lost.
The Tennessean reports that Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy doesn’t feel that increasing the flow from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River is the right plan of action at this moment in time. Politicians and business owners feel otherwise.
US Senator Claire McCaskill believes the Army Corp of Engineers will ultimately be to blame if things taken a turn for the worse in the coming months.
“Missouri businesses and jobs depend on our ability to continue commercial navigation along the Mississippi — and the dropping water level can’t be ignored. The Army Corps is now saying that we can continue navigation without increased flows from the Missouri, and we should hold them accountable if that prediction doesn’t pan out.”
According to KPLR, a number of people who work in the effected areas of the Mississippi River believe companies will pull out of the region if the situation isn’t addressed.
“I feel it’s going to close down,” AEP River Operations employee Marty Hettel explained. “We have the whole industry trying to remove all their equipment out of this area now.”
He added, “Us in the river industry have been praying for rain since April.”
Industry experts say that around 9,500 jobs and roughly $70 million in wages currently hang in the balance. $7 billion worth of cargo could be delayed as well.
The 180-mile stretch of the Mississippi is down between 15 and 20 feet due to extreme weather conditions in the area.
Are you worried that sections of the Mississippi River may shut down?