Coast Guard: No current plans to close ever-falling river

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — The Mississippi River level is continuing to drop, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis says it is using survey boats and dredges to maintain safe navigation.

The National Weather Service says drought has dropped the river’s summer level in Memphis to about 13 feet below normal, and it could fall another two feet by Aug. 1.

That would still be above the river’s record low set in 1988. The Coast Guard says it has no current plans to close sections of the river.

Still, the low levels are causing problems for river barges, which haul goods up and down the waterway. Barges are traveling with smaller loads to allow them to avoid grounding themselves on the river bottom.

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