Mississippi River Shut Down Threat: Droughts Could Cause 10,000 Job Losses

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(Photo: Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)

The Mississippi River may be shut down after extremely low water levels were recorded following the recent droughts in the region.

Lack of rainfall and the droughts have caused serious issues for the river, and across various parts of the Mississippi River the water is now starting to dry up.

Some have insisted that an increase in the flow from the Missouri River could help the Mississippi to stabilize and would raise the water levels. However, that will not happen, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

However, according to new reports out this week, many are now concerned that if something is not down to tackle the drought and drying river then it could have widespread affects. It has been said that the affects are already being felt across the oil, farm, manufacturing, steel, and river industries.

Some leaders working in those industries have warned that if things keep going the way they are then thousands of jobs could be lost as sectors decline from a knock on affect of the droughts.

Despite the warnings, Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, has told the Tennessean that any move to increase the flow from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River would be wrong at the present time.

However, there are an increasing number of people dissenting with that opinion.

US Senator Claire McCaskill has gone so far as to warn the Army Corps of Engineers that if things do get worse over the coming months it will be on their hands for refusing to take action now.

She has said, "Missouri businesses and jobs depend on our ability to continue commercial navigation along the Mississippi — and the dropping water level can't be ignored. The Army Corps is now saying that we can continue navigation without increased flows from the Missouri, and we should hold them accountable if that prediction doesn't pan out," according to The Inquisitr.

AEP River Operations employee Marty Hettel has also said, "I feel it's going to close down. We have the whole industry trying to remove all their equipment out of this area now," according to KPLR.

He continued, "Us in the river industry have been praying for rain since April."

The Mississippi River's 180 mile stretch is reportedly 15 to 20 feet lower than it should be at this time of year due to the extreme droughts hitting the region. Some experts are predicting that as many as 10,000 jobs could be under threat and potentially millions of dollars lost because of the issue.