A top Corps of Engineers official has ordered the release of water from an upper Mississippi River reservoir in an effort to avoid closure of the river at St. Louis.
Corps Major General John Peabody says the release from a reservoir in Minnesota will eventually add 3-6 inches of depth at St. Louis. However, that will fall well short of offsetting the projected drop of up to three feet when the corps reduces the flow of the Missouri River starting next week.
The drought has left both the Missouri and Mississippi dangerously low. Barge traffic at St. Louis could come to a halt starting next month. Businesses that work and ship on the Mississippi are seeking a presidential declaration to stop the corps from cutting the Missouri River flow.