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USACE Vicksburg District responds to historically low water conditions on lower Mississippi River

Posted on November 1, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District is responding to historically low water conditions on the Lower Mississippi River by dredging the channel, conducting surveys, and monitoring river stages.

During a temporary closure to navigation near Rosedale, Mississippi, from Oct. 27 at 4:00 p.m. to Oct. 29, the USACE Vicksburg District Dredge Jadwin will work to clear the channel. Depending on the dredge progress during the initial closure, additional closures may be needed in order to complete the work.

The Vicksburg District is in close communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and industry partners.

We are coordinating with the USACE Memphis District so that channel closures due to dredging coincide. Updates to any changes or channel opening will be forthcoming.

This is the lowest that the river has been at the Vicksburg gage since 2012, where it reached -1.0 ft. This will be the 6th time since 2000 that Vicksburg has reached stages below 1.5 ft.

The USACE Vicksburg District measures water levels on the Lower Mississippi River by a vast satellite telemetry gaging system that transmits 15- minute data back to a satellite and subsequently to data acquisition servers at several federal agencies. The Vicksburg District has approximately 200 satellite gages across a 68,000 square mile area of responsibility of which a team of six hydrologic technicians oversees the maintenance of this complex system of gages.

On the Vicksburg Gage, “0” is equal to elevation 46.23 feet above sea level. A Vicksburg Gage of “10” equates to a water surface elevation of 56.23 feet. Currently, we have approximately 13 feet of water or above in the Vicksburg District’s area of responsibility on the Mississippi River channel. Using the Mississippi River gage at Vicksburg as a reference, a stage of 1.3 ft is approximately 9 ft below the average stage for October.

The Mississippi River is the backbone to our nations ‘economy with 681 million tons of cargo moving on the River system annually and $12.5 billion in transportation cost savings. The USACE Vicksburg District is committed to maintaining and protecting the Mississippi River and its tributaries.


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