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You are here News Environment Barges stranded as Mississippi River water levels reach critical low

Barges stranded as Mississippi River water levels reach critical low

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Barges stranded on MississippiThe water in the Mississippi River has dropped so low that barges are getting stuck, leading to expensive dredging and at least one recent traffic jam of more than 2,000 vessels backed up.

The Mississippi River Basin produces nearly all – 92% – of US agricultural exports, and 78% of the global exports of feed grains and soybeans. The recent drought has dropped water levels to alarmingly low levels that are causing shipping delays, and seeing the costs of alternative transport, such as rail, rise.

In Vicksburg, western Mississippi, residents have seen less than an inch of rain since the start of September.

The mayor, George Flaggs, told WAPT-TV that the river was lower than he had seen it in nearly 70 years.

“It’s definitely having an impact on the local economy because the commercial use of this river has almost stopped,” Flaggs said.

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