Drought dries up stretch of Platte River, slows barges on lower Mississippi

From NBC News:  http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/03/13090325-drought-dries-up-stretch-of-platte-river-slows-barges-on-lower-mississippi?lite

By Miguel Llanos, NBC News
08/03/2012

It’s not just on land where drought is taking a toll: a 100-mile stretch of the Platte River has dried up, while barges along the lower Mississippi are having to carry less cargo in order to navigate shallower water.

The Mississippi impact is one that goes far beyond the immediate area: About 60 percent of the nation’s grain, 22 percent of its oil and gas, and 20 percent of the nation’s coal goes down the river. Lighter barges mean longer waits for those products.

The Army Corps of Engineers is tasked with dredging parts of the river where barges ground, and business is booming.

“We’re dredging around the clock,” Bob Anderson, a spokesman for the Corps’ Mississippi Valley District, told NBC News.

Continue reading at:  http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/03/13090325-drought-dries-up-stretch-of-platte-river-slows-barges-on-lower-mississippi?lite

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