Godlike Productions - Conspiracy Forum
Users Online Now: 2,080 (Who's On?)Visitors Today: 1,923,077
Pageviews Today: 2,442,301Threads Today: 493Posts Today: 8,111
05:34 PM

Rate this Thread

Absolute BS Crap Reasonable Nice Amazing

Mississippi River shipping channel's depth, width shrink

Offer Upgrade

User ID: 138169
09/01/2006 01:26 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Mississippi River shipping channel's depth, width shrink
Drought shrinks Big Muddy
Mississippi River shipping channel's depth, width shrink; farmers, factories face economic damage
By Chris Talbott
Associated Press

VICKSBURG, MISS. - With every few inches the Mississippi River drops this summer, Billy Joe Ragland and thousands of farmers like him lose money.

The drought that is causing the Mississippi to dwindle started in the spring of 2005 and hasn't loosened its grip. It's bad enough that the dry conditions are hurting his yields of soybeans, corn and cotton. But now low water is beginning to affect the fragile transportation system relied upon by farmers and factories in America's heartland.

And there isn't much chance anything will change for months. Little rain is in the forecast, and little hope is in Ragland's heart.

``This is going to be the year that puts a lot more of us out of business,'' said Ragland, a farmer in Bentonia who serves on the Mississippi Farm Bureau board of directors. ``I hope it's not going to be me, but I can see right now it's not going to be good in the end.''

Low water on America's largest river has already caused a reduction in the size and draft depths of the giant barge flotillas that carry more than 310 million tons of grain, petroleum, steel, ore and Ragland's soybeans and corn along the Mississippi every year.

Last week, the Coast Guard said parts of the river were closed temporarily because of a series of towboat groundings.

And hydrologists at the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center expect the marine highway to continue to drop rapidly. There is no significant rain in the forecast, and extreme drought conditions are expected to worsen in the basins of most of the Mississippi's mammoth northern tributaries.

One forecast, a 28-day, worst-case scenario based on the unlikely idea that no rain will fall in the basin, calls for the lower Mississippi to drop 2 to 3 feet in most areas. Although the river is not at historic lows, it is 8 to 10 feet below normal in most areas. Scientists and forecasters warned that if there is another month or two of similar conditions, the Mississippi could start to bottom out.

It would take weeks of substantial showers to reverse the trend. Even heavy-water storms lasting a day or two would have little impact on river levels. Drought-stricken vegetation and soils quickly absorb moisture, leaving little to make the journey down the watershed.

Regarding occasional showers in the basin, Louisiana state climatologist Barry Keim said: ``The long-range impacts on river flow, especially the Mississippi River, will be virtually nil. If it's problematic now, it's not likely to get any better. In fact, it's more likely to get worse.''

In times of low water, the draft -- or depth of a loaded barge in the water -- must be reduced. Ideally, barges would sit at a depth of 12 feet. But the Lower Mississippi River Committee, the industry group that regulates traffic in times of high and low water, has limited draft depth to 9 or 9 ½ feet along most sections of the river. Some ports are requiring draft levels of 8 feet.

And because the main channel of the Mississippi narrows in times of low water, the committee also decreased the width of floats by one string of barges. On the lower Mississippi, a string usually consists of as many as eight barges tied nose to stern.

About 70 percent of the water that flows into the lower Mississippi comes from the Ohio River valley, which gathers water from eight states. The area has gotten enough rainfall recently to remove the drought designation, but much of it has either traveled the wrong way, into the Great Lakes, or is greatly reduced on its way south.

Other tributaries are also in trouble along the Mississippi, which is a simple system -- water in, water out.

[link to www.ohio.com]

User ID: 85208
United States
09/01/2006 04:15 AM
Report Abusive Post
Report Copyright Violation
Re: Mississippi River shipping channel's depth, width shrink
It's nothing at all like the drought
of 1988. Upper parts of the river were
not navigable at at all. It was an amazing
site in Memphis and uncovered a couple of
sunken paddle wheelers from the Civil
War era on the Arkansas side.
 Quoting: DrPostman

I remember the drought of 88...and remember the floods of 93. The Mississippi is very tempermental.
Visit my website...

[link to heidi-lore.tripod.com]

Need to email? heidilore@gmail.com

Visit the GLP video site and click on groups:

[link to youtube.com]


The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference.

I believe I can see the future, 'cause I repeat the same routine. I think I used to have a purpose, but then again, it might have been a dream