Not enough water in Mississippi to float steamboat

The American Queen steamboat is docked in Memphis, unable to paddle on down the Mississippi River because of low water.

In this July 13, 2012, photo, the Memphis Queen riverboat moves up the Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The American Queen steamboat is docked in Memphis, unable to paddle on down the Mississippi River because of low water.

A trip that began Aug. 3 at Louisville, Ky., was cut short well before the steamboat's destination of Vicksburg, Miss.

American Queen Steamboat Company's Tim Rubacky tells The Commercial Appeal navigation problems caused by sluggish river flow make it unwise for the Queen to go any further south than Helena, Ark. The decision to lay up at Memphis was made after talking with the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers.

About 58 passengers remained aboard Thursday night. About 240 others went on to Vicksburg by bus.

Low water levels in the Mississippi are the result of a combination of high temperatures and lack of rain and snow further north of Memphis.


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