Low waters and underwater obstacles challenge in riverWater levels among the Mississippi River continue to decline amidst ongoing drought conditions. In September, water levels became critically low, slowing or in some cases, stalling 2022 harvest progress. Barge freight costs have soared and will continue to rise throughout October. Some loaded barges have had to unload cargo due to draft restrictions amidst traffic slowdowns and even stoppages.

Precipitation in the lower Mississippi River area is crucial for healthy water levels. But drought conditions and no serious rains predicted for the remainder of the fall, mean the transportation issue isn’t going anywhere anytime soon – literally. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been monitoring the issue and dredging where necessary to keep water moving.

Read more on drought-related barge and shipping transportation problems on the Mississippi River here.