Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s on the case regarding the water level in the Mississippi River. Low water on the river between East St. Louis and Cairo may limit barge traffic, affecting the transportation of grain and coal. The Army Corps of Engineers is reducing the flow from the Missouri River because of its low levels. The governor told members of the Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in Chicago that it’s important to reverse that decision, and to take other steps.
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“We need not only to get more water in the Mississippi, we have to deal with some of the dredging issues and blasting out if necessary in order to make sure that we have the navigation necessary to connect to the world,” he said.
Current Mississippi depth is 13 feet. It is projected to dip to nine feet by Dec. 10, a depth that would imperil navigation. Quinn, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, and U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have urged the Corps to increase flow from the Missouri River, but the Corps says this would adversely impact the Missouri River basin, and effects on navigation downstream are not supposed to be a consideration.