Saturday, November 24, 2012

When Major Rivers Run Low

from the LaCrossTribune.com





The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low-water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially bring barge traffic to a halt within weeks.
The Missouri flows into the Mississippi around a bend just north of St. Louis. One result of this year's drought, the worst in decades, has been a big drop in water levels on both rivers.
The corps announced earlier this month that it would reduce the outflow from the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., to protect the upper Missouri River basin. That drew an outcry from political leaders and businesses downstream, who warned that allowing the Mississippi to drop more could have devastating economic consequences.
Corps spokeswoman Monique Farmer told The Associated Press on Friday that the reduction began as scheduled that morning. By midday, the flow that had started at 37,500 cubic feet per second had been cut to 35,500 cubic feet per second.
Farmer said plans call for a gradual reduction down to 12,000 cubic feet per second by Dec. 11 because of the drought.