Mississippi River water levels lowest in decades, threaten shipping

Chicago Tribune: Tim Cox was supposed to be steering an 800-foot string of barges through the twists and turns of the Mississippi River in southern Illinois last week, moving tons of grain and coal toward downstream ports. Instead, Cox's towboat and about a half-dozen others spent nearly 15 hours sitting in the drought-starved river about 115 miles south of St. Louis. The boats, each pushing thousands of tons of cargo, were forced to stop while crews dredged downstream in a desperate attempt to keep the shipping......

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