A small boat passes along the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Miss., Thursday, July 26. 2012. in a switch of extremes, the river has dropped to very low levels this summer unlike last year when the river was flooding much of the Delta due to record high levels. The drop in water level now exposes the river bottom, forcing river traffic to a trickle as barges are forced to lessen their loads to keep from getting stuck on sandbars. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A top Corps of Engineers official has ordered the release of water from an upper Mississippi River reservoir in an effort to avoid closure of the river at St. Louis.
Corps Major General John Peabody says the release from a reservoir in Minnesota will eventually add 3-6 inches of depth at St. Louis. However, that will fall well short of offsetting the projected drop of up to 3 feet when the corps reduces the flow of the Missouri River starting next week.
The drought has left both the Missouri and Mississippi dangerously low. Barge traffic at St. Louis could come to a halt starting next month. Businesses that work and ship on the Mississippi are seeking a presidential declaration to stop the corps from cutting the Missouri River flow.
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