Low Water in the Mississippi

Ysarex

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Got down to the river yesterday near the port of Saint Louis. The river is typically low this time of year but it's lower than normal this year with little rain in the region for the past two months. The wing dikes are jutting up well above the water level (usually they're below the water and not visible).

The platform in the first photo is a Corp of Engineers work platform with some dredging pipes on board. They may be preparing to bring in the dredge and start sucking up river bottom.

The second photo is the Riley Elizabeth pushing a tow down river. Fuji XT-2 w/Nikon 180mm f/2.8

low-water.jpg

riley-elizabeth.jpg

j-andrew.jpg
 
Driving over the 270 bridge there are sandbars that normally are not visible. Looks a little eerie.
 
Driving over the 270 bridge there are sandbars that normally are not visible. Looks a little eerie.
Yep, when the wing dykes are exposed as much as they are now it's pretty bad and navigation is threatened. The stretch from Saint Louis to Cairo is the shallowest section of the river -- tow operators call it the bottleneck. When you can see the wing dykes completely out of the water and their base is exposed it's panic time. A loaded tow needs 9 foot of clearance. Last thing you want to do is run 22,000 tons of soybeans up on a sandbar.

I remember 2013 was so bad the Corps had to close the river. It's nothing like that yet but it better start raining. Besides I'm getting tired of watering the squash in the garden.
 
Good documentary set.
 
Spent many enjoyable days on that river when I was younger, fishing, boating and hunting the shore. I always found it fascinating, because you never knew what you might find.
 

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