Water levels on the Mississippi River remain low and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says it’s a wait-and-see situation. Durbin toured the river at Thebes on Monday and says the Army Corps of Engineers is doing all it can to keep the river navigable, but without rain the situation could turn dire.
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“Right now, fingers crossed, we’re doing fine,” Durbin said. “If the warm weather melts the snow and ice up north and sends the water south, we’re in good shape. If it rains we’re in good shape. We’ve held back some water for the Corps of Engineers to release if necessary but it is a touch-and-go situation for the next several weeks until we get a rainier season.” Durbin says the White House has “not ruled out anything” in keeping the Mississippi River navigable.
Last summer’s drought and a lack of a heavy snow pack are to blame for the low water. The Corps also restricted the water flow from the Missouri River, which partially feeds the Mississippi River, in order to preserve water supplies there that are used for drinking purposes as well as power generation.