Home > News > Upper Mississippi River Levels Fall Three Feet Above Zero

After cresting a second time at major flood stage in late May, the Mississippi River is at 3.36 feet above zero gauge. Little to no rain and extreme heat has caused the river to rapidly dry out from just above St. Louis to the Upper Mississippi River. Unlike the Lower Mississippi River, the Upper portion does not usually fall below zero gauge due to the lock and dam system.

Low water conditions only affected portions of the Lower Mississippi River last year as 29 lock and dam systems kept water levels regular from Minnesota to Illinois. The lock and dam systems aren’t necessary to go further south as the river is naturally deep and wide enough for safe barge navigation. While the Lower Mississippi River is far from the damaging levels it fell to last year, there is currently a 6% reduction in loading drafts and a 15% reduction in southbound barges to the Gulf.

Read more on Mississippi River water levels here.


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