Rains from Isaac raise river, but don’t offer long-term relief

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Rain from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac could help the drought-stricken Mississippi River, but experts say it’s not enough for long-term relief.

The Mississippi River is lower than it has been in years, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is busy trying to keep barge traffic flowing on the vital shipping channel.

Marty Pope, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Jackson, says Isaac dumped rain on areas that feed the lower Mississippi River, but too little for a sustained rise in water level.

Corps spokesman Kavanaugh Breazeale says the river could rise two feet at Vicksburg over the coming weeks, but it’ll go down again without more rain.

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