Low Mississippi River Water Levels Hamper Supply Chain

The lowest level in decades slows shipping lanes. 

Mayors of cities along the Mississippi River have requested federal assistance as the major conduit of freight has reached historically low water levels due to drought. The National Weather Service said nearly 68 percent of river areas are experiencing modest drought, with 1.89 million people affected.

The Mississippi River and its tributaries are key arteries of commerce for the U.S. and, at the height of harvest time, getting agricultural products from Midwestern farms to the Gulf has become more difficult. As a result of the decreased water level, sunken ships have resurfaced and new islands have appeared. 

Although parts of the region received rain last week, future predictions of rainfall are tenuous, and relief from snowmelt across the upper U.S. is still months away. Officials tasked with keeping barges moving are doing their best but are seeking help for continued and future drought conditions. 

In addition, some residents in Louisiana have been warned that seawater has penetrated the drinking water supply, an effect of the low water levels. They are not yet under a boil water advisory, but health officials are concerned for residents with health risks like high blood pressure or heart issues. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For discernment for the mayors and other community leaders as they seek to maintain the flow of barges along the Mississippi River.
  • For Secretary Raimondo as she and other Commerce Department officials consider solutions to the drought-induced hindrance to the supply chain.
  • That U.S. weather, atmospheric, and climate advisors would be wise in their recommendations to the president and his administration.

Sources: CNN, Weather Channel, Yahoo, Fox News, CBS News


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