Problems along the Mississippi river, a firsthand photo account.

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posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 09:30 AM
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Originally posted by St0mP121
reply to post by Raist
 


First i take it its not normal for this thing to drop this low correct?

My first thought is if that is the case maybe we dug out the river or gave it someplace to go to get ready for a intake of say lots of flooding?

I really dont have a clue. but it is one of my first thoughts


It is not "normal" but it is not unheard of either .

I do not understand why people's minds go to (not you by the way) that it is being drained for fracking or some other nefarious reason . I have worked the rivers for years and have seen them low (or below pool stage) and have ran the rivers during floods when they have left their banks and we have ended up pushing a tow of coal barges through a corn field (my company had to pay the farmer because our boat's rudders left two huge furrows through his field) .

We had a very dry summer and that effects the pools between the locks and dams . Up until recently with all the rain in my area , the creek beside my house was darn near dried up , it is finally running normal once again .

ETA: I think I read that someone was wondering where they measure the depth of the river , for the most part it is measured at each lock and dam , and the Coast Guard will check the depth periodically in the channel to make sure it has not filled in with sand and silt . If one was still allowed to visit the locks and dams on the inland waterways (before 9/11 after which they put a stop to it) , you would see gauges painted on the upper and lower lock walls showing the depth of the river in feet . When I say upper and lower lock wall , what I mean is the upper is the up river side and the lower would be down river side . The pool is the portion of river between each lock , and I have seen the river so low that numbers , below the normal depth , on gauge of the lower lock wall could not be read because it normally stays below the normal pool stage and is covered in algae .
edit on 20-12-2012 by whenandwhere because: (no reason given)
edit on 20-12-2012 by whenandwhere because: can not type today




posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by Raist
At this point the ecosystem is feeling it.


Raist
edit on 12/19/12 by Raist because: fixing link


What's the point of an economy without an ecosystem to support it?



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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S&F!! Thank you for this post, very informative.
The pictures are overwhelming.



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:53 AM
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Well, this is distressing. Don't really want to see the "Mighty Mississippi" become less mighty.

Thanks for the thread.



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 11:15 AM
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Thank you so much for all those photos, they really bring the story to light to those of us who don't live in the Midwest. I think it's hard for people like us to understand how important the Mississippi is to the country concerning shipping. Flag &Star



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 11:16 AM
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Interesting..

www.csmonitor.com...


In total, the $10 million project is expected to add about six inches of water depth to the Mississippi by next week, the Corps says.



The American Waterways Operators estimates that the partial shutdown of the river will reduce the number of barges from 35 to 15 that can be hauled by a single towboat. The reduced speed and capacity along the 180-mile stretch of the river between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., which has water levels already 20 feet below normal, will result in $7 billion in lost business in December and January, the organization says.


Six inches for something that's 20 feet below normal levels? Wow. If they don't get serious rain, they are in trouble.

Is that 180 mile stretch where you are OP?



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by cjno6
 


The news has mentioned little about this and not once through the year have the suggested dredging or blasting, at least not to the public. You might be correct in that they were waiting for a certain time of the year. Personally I think they waited until the last second in true political form


You are right though about talking to someone. I work swing shifts but I might be able to catch the right person. I will have to do some checking.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by wantsome
 


There is a chance we will get some flurries here in the next day or so, at least that is what the weather is calling for.

I had heard many bodies of water were down this year. They barely mention the river here so as you can guess they have said nothing about the great lakes here. Most of what I have heard has been here and other web site. The weather here is normal Missouri as far as you do not know what to expect though it is a bit warmer than usual this time of the year. This morning it was almost 60 and tonight it is going to be in the mid 20's.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by pacifier2012
 


The last historical low was in 1988. We have gone lower than that this year though.

Speaking to a few other people the river has been low enough and it got cold enough for people to walk across it from state to state in recent years (recent being sometime within the last 70 years). From the sound of it though this is the lowest it has been in memory.

We might be looking at something that has not been seen for well over a hundred years or so.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by SCGrits
 


Thanks for all the information and links.

To get a few of your questions the drought is and is not noticeable in several ways. Some things seem to be thriving in the conditions, one of which happens to be the mosquito that transmits West Nile. For some reason they like drought type weather.

Many trees are fine as far as trees that are common for the area. Oaks are pretty hardy and a lot of trees in this area have most likely lived through these types of conditions in the past as saplings. Wells also seem to be doing well in this area. I have not heard of any going dry or getting cloudy (often happens with a lot of heavy rain or when things get really dry).

The ones who have noticed the drought the most are the farmers. The rest of us have not found out much about the drought. To hear the news with as little as they speak about it we were fine and now suddenly they are dropping this on us about rock removal and the river possibly being shut down. Talking to people at work no one knew how bad any of this was. It is as if there is a media blackout on the drought for the most part.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by j2000
 


I agree this is one invasive species that really needs to see a drop in population. They are completely destroying an ecosystem. Add to that the drought and many native species are suffering more than they should.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by ~widowmaker~
 


If they are taking water for fracking it is no where near this area. Possibly upstream but not here. Around here we only have quarries. We have a lot of quarries.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Cinrad
 


There has not been much rain this year. I assume from the river levels it is the same up north. From what I can tell a great portion of the Midwest is suffering from drought.

Of course I am sure some of the water is pumped out. However, I do not think it is enough to be noticeable.

Raist
edit on 12/20/12 by Raist because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by whenandwhere
 


Wow, thank you for the explanation of barges. It is good to hear from someone with experience in barges and the river. It certainly helps me to understand things a bit more.

1988 is the last time the Mississippi river was at a record low, so I imagine that was the year you were stuck near Cairo.

I had no idea their rudder was so large, but I guess it needs to be to move as much as they do. I know when the river is up you can see barges carrying the max load, at least I assume it is, of as you say up to 20 and riding very low.

I have sat and watched many barges move up and down the river, and I noticed the buoyed channel you are talking about. It is strange seeing the channels shrink. I also just found out not long ago that they do remove rock from time to time near Thebes as you say to make sure it stays clear. I guess most of that though is lose stuff that piles up. The stuff I seen them removing the other day looked sort of lose as well. Since they are not blasting yet I guess this is what most of it is.

As you say though the river is very important. Prices will shoot through the roof if the river shuts down.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by whenandwhere
 


I did not think of them taking less fuel, but that does make sense.

Do you recall how far a barge gets on fuel (I guess sort of a MPG type of thing)?
Also since they are taking on less fuel are they having to make more stops or is that fuel getting them to their destination?


Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by St0mP121
 


Yes this is certainly not normal. There have been times of extreme drought and low river stages though. 1988 was the last historical low in the river. My understanding from talking to a few there has been a time in a life time (say 70 years) that seen the river low enough and cold enough to freeze so that you could walk from state to state across the river.

To my knowledge though this is the lowest the river has been seen, at least in memory.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by whenandwhere
 


Thanks again for the explination.

Since there is not a lock near Cape Girardeau or Thebes how exactly do they measure the level at areas like this? Do they use some sort of calculation or maybe sonar in a certain spot?

While I do not agree that water is being removed for any reasons like fracking I cannot help but think that some of the operations last year to curb the flooding has not helped to get us in the situation of a low river with the drought being the main cause that is.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by WhereIsTheBatman
 


I agree with you. At the same time there will always be some form of ecosystem though. Some species are can adapt better than others. My concern as far as the ecosystem goes is for those species that are already low in numbers and endangered.

If the river closes I do not think our economy will last. It will be a huge blow in terms of goods being transported.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by Ikema
 


Even most of us that live here on the river did not or still do not know how bad this really is. The news just is not saying a lot about it. This should be national news and should be considered a state of emergency in my opinion. There is a lot of money going up and down the river daily. Closing that would put a huge burden on the economy.

I think the jobs would equal out in loss and gain as more trucks and trains would be on the move while less barges moved, but the costs in shipping would greatly increase. Fuel and food costs would jump much higher than they are now. Not to mention the costs of steel, coal and anything else that is transported on the river.

Raist



posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by redtic
 


Yes that is the 180 stretch I live in. I am not far from Thebes where they are doing the rock removal now.

Thank you for adding that information. It really helps to give some understanding of just how much money is being lost and how greatly closing the river will hurt the economy.

I find it odd that they will only be adding 6 inches to the depth. I really wonder how much that is going to help. I suspect the 6 inches is just from the dredging. If they start blasting it seems like they would get more than 6 inches.


Raist



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