Water releases from dams on the upper Missouri River are planned to be significantly scaled back later this month, which could negatively impact the Mississippi River water level between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., beginning December 1. Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower, Ill., which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows. The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around December 10.
"Congress and the Administration need to understand the immediate severity of this situation," said Tom Allegretti, AWO's president and CEO. "The Mississippi River is an economic superhighway that efficiently carries hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods for domestic use as well as national export. We need to address this situation swiftly, cut through bureaucratic red tape, and prevent the closure of the Mississippi."
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