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No Barge Traffic on Low Mississippi

By T. Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – The Mississippi River remains closed just south of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge in St. Louis three days after the water became too shallow to allow barges to carry cargo.

A drought is partly to blame but so is a court-ordered drop in levels on the nearby Missouri River according to barge advocates like Lynn Muench.

"For the river to be closed this time of year is very unusual because, even with drought in the upper basin, you will have sufficient flows off the Missouri to keep the Mississippi River open," Muench said.

A judge ordered the Missouri River lowered to protect endangered species. But environmental groups say the drop will make flows higher in the fall which will benefit barges at a time when more goods are shipped on rivers.