New Concerns About Shallow Water Along Stretch of Mississippi River
Description: Farmers up north of St. Louis and barge operators are once again concerned about the water levels on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Coast Guard is expressing optimism that they will be able to keep the river open despite a prolonged drought that is causing water levels to get dangerously low once again in an area just south of St. Louis. Barge operators say that even if the river is open to barge traffic, farmers could still lose money, or have to hold on to their harvest until it is more affordable to ship.
The problem with a low river is that barge operators have to cut back on the size and weight of their load. This increases the cost of shipping and farmers will either lose part of their profit on shipping or they could decide to wait until the river rises again. In the meantime, buyers in other parts of the world could decide to purchase their product from a different part of the world.
Shipping could also turn into a problem for the auto industry and other industries that ship parts back and forth. A spokesperson for the Port of New Orleans, Matt Gresham says steel could also be held up by low water. It is heavy and in high demand by businesses along the river.
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