Sunken ships resurface amid Mississippi River drought
Almost 58% of Mississippi is experiencing a moderate droughtwith 1.89 million people affected according to the US Drought Monitor.
The conditions have caused lines on the Mississippi River to be pulled to near record levels.
According to NASA, some areas have seen levels drop more than in a decade, raising concerns that saltwater intrusions could affect water supplies.
Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana has declared a state of emergency and issued a drinking water advisory due to the intrusion.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun construction of an underwater sill at Myrtle Grove. La. earlier this month.
Sunken ships resurfaced, and new islands rose to the surface.
Critical ship i barge traffic for the agricultural industry is disturbed.
The river moves more than half of all U.S. grain exports, but industry estimates cited by the federal government show the drought reduced the flow of goods by about 45%.
Barges are stuck there, according to the US Coast Guard, and ships have been advised to lighten their loads.
NASA, citing reports, said the images showed more than 100 towboats and barges waiting due to the temporary closure of the river caused by the grounding and dredging work.
In some areas, storage at barge terminals is fulllincreasing, preventing the entry of a larger quantity of goods.
Almost the entire stretch of the river from Minnesota to Louisiana has had below-average rainfall over the past two months.
Many visitors have walked across a typically submerged river bedleading to a warning from experts.
Although scientists state that climate change is making droughts more frequent and intense, Brad Pugh, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press that the Midwest drought is likely “driven by short-term weather patterns.”
NOAA said the drought also threatened wells in Iowa and Nebraska, and some communities in Mississippi switched to alternative sources of drinking water.
The region finally got some rain last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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