BATON ROUGE, LA (10/26/2022) — Mississippi River levels are so low you can walk under the USS Kidd in downtown Baton Rouge. Kelsey Mitchell posted to facebook Sunday saying “Pretty day to explore underneath the USS Kidd.”
MISSISSIPPI RIVER (10/19/2022) — On Tuesday, October 18th, the Mississippi River gauges at Memphis displayed an all time low of -10.79 ft. This broke the previous all time record low set on July 10th, 1988 of -10.70 feet. For perspective, the average level is 4.00 feet!
The Tennessee Valley Authority released a statement saying “To help stabilize commercial navigation conditions on the lower Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, we are scheduling special water releases from Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River and Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River to help low river level impacts.”
The water levels have dropped too low for barges to float. The startling low levels are also causing problems with the drinking water as salt water threatens the supply.
As water levels lowered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a shipwreck was spotted earlier this month. Archaeologists believe the boat was a ferry that sunk in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
The low river levels are a result of below-normal rainfall in the Midwest and, unfortunately drought conditions continue to worsen across the mid-South and Midwest.