The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dredge Jadwin, which is owned by the Vicksburg District, has been stationed 2-1/2 miles south of Greenville since Monday, working to vacuum silt and sand from the river bottom and eventually clear a channel deep enough to the vessels to pass.
The Mississippi River is vital for commerce and communities from the Gulf of Mexico to Minnesota, but the 2012 drought is putting all that who rely on it in jeopardy.
I drove by the Mississippi River overlook yesterday afternoon to take pictures as the sun was just setting. Of course, no vessels were in site. I have lived here all my life and have never seen the river this low or heard of the river being shut down. The river was at 0.7 feet yesterday with no change from Monday. Forecasts through mid-September by the National Weather Service River Forecast Center showed a minus 0.6 foot stage in Vicksburg and minus 9.9 feet in Memphis. The next forecast will be issued today.
Sun setting over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg. God's paintbrush at work!
A pulled-out view of the sun after setting. Sand bars are way out on the Louisiana side.
The Mississippi River bridges (I-20 & Hwy 80) as the sun was setting yesterday evening.
A vessel heads south under the Interstate 20 and U.S. bridges over the Mississippi River yesterday morning. Eli Baylis - The Vicksburg Post
UPDATE: River traffic began to trickle through about 5 hours ago. Cost estimate of $10,000 per barge per day. Ninety barges were stranded near Greenville this morning, down from 103 mid-morning yesterday.