"Rain To Help Raise Mississippi River, Ease Shipper Woes"

"A storm moving up the Mississippi River valley will help replenish the river, low in parts from drought, and ease concerns that shipping could be halted along a shallow stretch from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois."

"Shipping groups had warned as recently as last week of an effective closure of the river along that busy stretch, through which billions of dollars of grain, coal, fertilizer and other commodities flow every year.

Rain and the brisk pace of efforts to remove underwater rock could help the Army Corps of Engineers keep barge traffic flowing through that section of the Mississippi until at least mid-February when the river's water level rises because of seasonal changes.

The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday relaxed their previously rigid draft restrictions for vessels transiting the area in response to the improved river forecast."

Karl Plume reports for Reuters January 14, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 01/15/2013