mississippi river

Camille Phillips / St. Louis Public Radio

Flooding on the Mississippi River continues to make its way south from Iowa, putting towns from Quincy to Grafton on alert.

With historic buildings, a post office and a dozen homes all in the path of the flood, Clarksville, Mo, 75 miles north of St. Louis, has more to lose than most.

The National Weather Service is forecasting major flooding along stretches of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis early next week. A map on its site is regularly updated with river stages.

Christine Karim / Creative Commons

                Researchers at the University of Missouri are working towards improving water quality throughout the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

River shore
File Photo / KBIA

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is picking up where it left off in clearing rock from barge channels in the Mississippi River.

Displaced Pinhook residents look for new home

Jul 17, 2013
Tamara Zellars Buck / KRCU

Drive along southeast Missouri’s Highway VV in Mississippi County, and you will primarily see vibrant green fields littered with farm equipment and the occasional farmer working the land.

The burned out remains of what was once a church stands sentry alongside the highway, just outside of what at first glance appears to be an ordinary rural community.

But, something seems out of place.

Christine Karim / Creative Commons

The Mississippi River is on the way down at some hard-hit Midwestern towns.

Melanie Cheney / Flickr

Two freshman Congressmen from southern Illinois want the Army Corps of Engineers to start thinking of ways it can coordinate river management to keep cargo traffic flowing during droughts or floods.

Jacob McCleland / KRCU

The lingering drought continues to keep the Mississippi River at historically low levels. But now the Army Corps of Engineers says the river will likely stay open for transportation at least through this month. But many grain and energy industries that send products up and down the river aren’t yet breathing a sigh of relief. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports from the Corn Belt where a lot of grain begin its journey south down the Mississippi.

It seems like we’re constantly hearing about how the worst drought in decades is threatening barge shipping on the Mississippi River. 

One day we’re facing a shutdown, the next day they say commerce will keep rolling on the river.  

Here’s the latest: The Army Corp of Engineers says it’s done enough work to keep the waterway open until the end of this month.   

After that, though, no one is making any promises, and that uncertainty is giving the shipping industry a lingering headache and could end up with local companies cutting jobs.   

Regional news from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • Low levels of the Mississippi River to affect commerce
  • Gov. Nixon aims to make government more efficient
  • Elected teacher battles school board for leave of absence

Brett Ciccotelli / Flickr

The Mississippi River's water level is dropping again and barge industry trade groups warn that river commerce could essentially come to a halt by mid-January. Ice on the northern section of the Mississippi is reducing flow more than expected.

The Coast Guard remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open despite the worst drought in decades.

But even if the Mississippi remains technically open, Deborah Colbert of the Waterways Council, a barge industry trade group, says further load limits will make shipping unviable by mid-January.

Missouri levee
USACEpublicaffairs / Flickr

The first phase of restoration work has been completed on a Mississippi River levee that was intentionally breached in 2011 during record flooding.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Amid strong concerns about the declining level of the already low Mississippi River, the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from an Illinois lake to add to the flow of the Mississippi.

Army Corps to blow up rock outcrops in Mississippi River

Dec 12, 2012
Jacob McCleland / KRCU

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.

Melanie Cheney / Flickr

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri may seek a presidential emergency declaration in an effort to keep barges moving on the drought-riddled Mississippi River.

Christine Karim / Creative Commons

The US Army Corps of Engineers this week began shutting flow from a South Dakota reservoir which feeds into Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis. The overall lack of water is expected to cause big problems moving freight on the river.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

While the U.S. remains the world’s biggest supplier of corn, American farmers will lose a portion of the global corn market this year.

The Midwest drought devastated the normally robust corn harvest, which has led to higher corn prices and plummeting corn stocks. In a normal year, the U.S. exports more than 1 billion bushels of corn to markets worldwide, but with low domestic supply it’s a tough year for corn exporters – the USDA predicts U.S. corn exports will be at a 40-year low this year.

Photo taken by Ed Henleben

I left my house in Columbia, Mo., at 5:30 a.m. Thursday to make it to the Ingram Barge Co.'s Upper Mississippi River office by 8:30 am. I knew the three-hour drive had been worth it when I pulled up to the barge company’s office because the sturdy grey structure actually sits IN the Mighty Mississippi. I walked across an anchor barge that doubles as a pedestrian bridge to enter the office and passed by the R. Clayton McWhorter, a 45-foot tall, 140-foot long towboat with four decks.

Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

Flood protection projects are progressing on both sides of the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

Mayors from 19 cities and towns are in St. Louis this week to launch a new initiative aimed at bringing greater attention to issues affecting the Mississippi River.

A total of 41 mayors, so far, have formally agreed to the partnership, which is set to begin lobbying congress in March of next year.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said mutual interests trump party politics.

aimeeorleans / flickr

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his administration is keeping tabs on river levels along the Missouri and Mississippi as drought conditions persist across the state.  He indicates that the Missouri River may be in worse shape.

“I think that the challenges on the Missouri are a little more significant than the Mississippi," Nixon said at a gathering Wednesday in Jefferson City.  "Minnesota has had a fair amount of rain in that part of the country, but we’re watching those issues very carefully.”

USACE Public Affairs / Flickr

The Army Corps of Engineers visited Cairo, Illinois on yesterday to check on reconstruction projects following last year’s devastating floods. The Corps will invest more than $100 million toward flood protection systems at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

Repeat of last year's flooding unlikely

Mar 16, 2012
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Missouri experienced record flooding last year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. But this year, experts say water levels are likely to return to normal.                

Christine Karim / Creative Commons

A coalition of environmental groups has filed two lawsuits against the EPA, seeking to limit nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico.

Governor Jay Nixon told reporters during a press event at a Callaway County farm along the Missouri that farmlands damaged by both high water releases and levee demolition must be restored