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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Barge Traffic Problems Again This Winter?

Looks like we may have a repeat of last year.  Challenges keeping barge traffic open on the Mississippi and Missouri both for downstream and upstream transport.



 The continuing drought in the central part of the US, which serves as the watersheds for the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, has diminished water flow in both rivers. The Mississippi’s barge industry had difficulty throughout the winter of 2012 and 2013 because of low water levels, and that is shaping up to be the case again in the winter of 2013-2014. Because of the diminished rainfall in the Missouri watershed, river management has decided to retain its operating plan from last year, and avoid release of any large amounts of water in upstream reservoirs that might raise water levels in the Mississippi."

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