As Mississippi River levels continue to drop, leaders from the river navigation industry sent a letter to President Obama asking for an emergency declaration.
They fear the lack of water will stop or interrupt commerce by mid-December.
The Army Corps of Engineers is reducing flows on the Missouri River. That will drop Mississippi River levels by as much as four feet by December 10.
Mike Toohey is the CEO of The Waterways Council. He says the basic inputs of everyday life will not arrive at their destination if commerce is interrupted between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.
“That’s the gasoline that is delivered to your local service station. The inputs to manufacturing, whether that’s grain, coal, building materials. Chemicals will be stopped.”
A Corps official says they cannot act outside their Missouri River Master Manual, which includes no provisions to provide support for Mississippi River interests.