Army Corps Believes Actions Will Ensure Mississippi River Remains Open

After a briefing from the Army Corps of Engineers - Senator Dick Durbin said the Corps is projecting no significant interruption in navigation on the Mississippi River due to low water levels. During the weekend - the Corps began releasing water into the Mississippi from a southern Illinois lake. That is expected to raise the river by six inches at Thebes, Illinois by Christmas Eve. A meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring says expected rain or snow in the Midwest should also help increase water levels - particularly if snow melts in the upper Midwest soon.

Agricultural groups have said seven-million tons of ag products worth 2.3-billion dollars would be at risk if the Mississippi River is closed. If the Corps doesn't release water from the Missouri River - the American Waterways Operators says the river will be effectively closed to navigation by the end of the year. Spokeswoman Ann McCulloch said the planned removal of rock pinnacles and the release of water from the Illinois lake are just delaying the inevitable.

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