River Industry Leaders Urge Obama For Emergency Declaration

Nov 28, 2012

Credit 2008 National Park Service

River navigation leaders want the Obama administration to take emergency action to avoid a river commerce shutdown. The Army Corps of Engineers is reducing flows on the Missouri River. That will drop Mississippi River levels by as much as four feet by Dec. 10.

The Waterways Council CEO Mike Toohey says the basic inputs of everyday life will not arrive at their destination if commerce is interrupted between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.

“That’s the gasoline that is delivered to your local service station," he says. "The inputs to manufacturing, whether that’s grain, coal, building materials. Chemicals will be stopped.”

A Corps official says they cannot act outside their Missouri River Master Manual, which includes no provisions to provide support for Mississippi River interests.