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U.S. Coast guard dredging Mississippi River to help with historic low

Posted on November 2, 2022

The Mississippi River is recording low levels from Illinois to Louisiana.

In Baton Rouge, the low level revealed a ferry that sank more than a century ago as well as the underbelly of the USS Kidd.

Though water levels are usually low around this time of year, experts say they haven’t seen anything this extreme.

“Due to severe drought throughout the Midwest that it’s reaching historical lows,” said Gabriel Wisdom, United States Coast Guard Petty Officer.

Wisdom says this raises significant concerns because the Mississippi River is pivotal to both the global and U.S. economy.

“The Army Corps of Engineers is going in and dredging and maintaining the depth of the water up north, you know, near the Memphis area, especially. And the Coast Guard is just working to mark those channels to make sure these commercial mariners can continue to get their goods to where they need to go,” he said.

Wisdom believes the low water level has not begun to affect business in Baton Rouge — yet.

Wisdom says, “The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are going to continue to manage the waterways and the marine transportation system as the situation persists. And we have crews out there working hard.”

Officials are currently moving more water into the main river by releasing water from two dams to help supplement water levels on the Mississippi River.

But this is neither a sustainable nor long-term solution.


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