Mississippi River


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the near-historic Mississippi River flood of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like no other flood before it.

The Army Corps released a report Monday saying the Mississippi River and Tributaries system was operated as it was designed to work and was mostly successful in fighting the flood along of the nation's most important inland waterway.

NOAA, wikipedia.org

This weekend’s rainfall has briefly alleviated dropping water levels on the Mississippi River, but it didn't put a dent in persisting drought conditions in the area. National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Smith says most places in western Kentucky got 4 to 5 inches but they are still up to 20 inches below average rainfall. The Mississippi River levels are between 12 and 13 feet but Smith expects those levels to drop back to 5 feet in just a few weeks.

Army Corps Tamps Down Barge Worries on Mississippi

Jan 7, 2013
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

The Army Corps of Engineers says its efforts to keep a crucial stretch of the Mississippi River open to barge traffic should help avert a shipping shutdown that river industry officials fear is imminent.

A new National Weather Service forecast projects water levels on the Mississippi River will keep dropping over the next several weeks.  The outlook comes amid worries barge traffic could soon be affected along the vital shipping corridor.  NWS hydrologists say the Mississippi River at Saint Louis will fall to about 9 feet by the end of December, and, barring significant rainfall, another six inches in the first week of January.  Months of drought have left levels up to 20 feet below normal along a 180-mile stretch of the river from St. Louis to Cairo, Ill. 

Army Corps To Blow Up Rock Outcrops

Dec 12, 2012

Two river navigation trade associations say the Army Corps of Engineers will blow up rock outcrops on the Mississippi River next week. The rock pinnacles in Thebes, Ill., could block river traffic after Christmas if water levels continue to fall. The rock removal is a half-victory for barge companies, who also want the Corps to release water from Missouri River reservoirs.

American Waterways Operators spokesperson Ann McColloch says the rock blasting project is welcome news, but adds the work will take an extended period of time.

Kelly Martin, Wikimedia Commons

A top Army Corps of Engineers official says an updated forecast means it’s unlikely the lower Mississippi River will close to shipping. Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy tells interested state lawmakers the agency won't scale back the amount of Missouri River water it began withholding last month from the Mississippi. Lawmakers and the barge industry had sought the extra water to prevent a shipping crisis.

2008 National Park Service

Governor Steve Beshear is joining officials from other states asking the Army Corps of Engineers not to restrict the flow of the Missouri River into the Mississippi. The Corps says the flow reduction is due to drought in the upper Missouri River.

Kentucky U. S. Congressman Ed Whitfield has joined those calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to increase water flow on the Mississippi River. The Corps has reduced flow from the Missouri River into the Mississippi to preserve water reservoirs.


Commercial trucks are not being allowed on a ferry that is the only route between Kentucky and Missouri. The detour is about 80 miles for trucks traveling between the two states. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the Dorena-Hickman Ferry restriction is because of the low water level of the Mississippi River.

Kelly Martin, Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers from several Mississippi River states are meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers today to address the waterway's critically low levels between St. Louis and Cairo .