The worst drought in a long time, which is a result of anthropogenic global warming, has caused barges to run aground in Arkansas and Wisconsin shutting down barge traffic at those two points along the enormous inland waterway.
It was unclear when the key shipping waterway might be reopened to commercial traffic…
Low water has restricted barge drafts to a lighter-than-normal nine feet and limited barge tows to fewer barges on numerous sections of the Mississippi River.
But even as vessels have lightened their cargo loads, numerous boats have run aground in recent weeks, forcing temporary river closures and snarling north- and southbound freight traffic. The river is a major shipping lane for grains, oilseeds, fertilizer, salt, coal, and other cargo.