The drought is drying up the Mississippi River this summer and that’s putting a strain on the busy grain shipping season. Barge traffic over the past week has diminished thanks to the low River levels. The Mississippi is at 12-feet in downtown Cape and is forecast to drop a foot by Monday. The River is even dryer in Cairo and New Madrid. Ingram Barge Company operates large tows on the lower Mississippi. Spokesman Keel Hunt tells KZIM KSIM they’re lightening their loads to be able to ship safely. Hunt says their cargo barge operators are in constant communication with the Army Corps, Coast Guard and other barges to know what’s ahead of them. The River at Cairo is now at a 9-foot level. It was just below 62-feet on May 2nd, 2011. The level at New Madrid is at its lowest mark in six years.
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