Here’s how the increasingly low Mississippi River level can affect your pocketbook

Lack of rainfall has left waterway near record low levels, making barge and other navigation more difficult
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 10:56 PM CDT
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(KSLA) — Why is the Mississippi River low?

“It’s not only the Mississippi River; it’s really all of the inland rivers in the United States,” LSU Shreveport professor Dr. Gary Joiner explained. “And it’s because of droughts. It’s because of widely fluctuating rain amounts.”

Joiner said you might not think it impacts you right now, but it does.

“Prices will go up on raw materials, which then become processed materials, which then go to consumers in stores. Particularly in grains, cereal, anything that can be moved in bulk that’s not on a truck and not on a train is going to be by barge you have the problem now but the whole line of the process means it’s going to affect us weeks and months ahead,” he said.

The National Weather Service and U.S. Geological Survey show the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Miss., was measured Monday, Oct. 31 at more than three feet below its low river stage of five feet. And in Greenville, Miss., it measured at three feet below its low river stage of 10 feet.

Joiner said barge traffic is the biggest concern.

“The Army Corp of Engineers has to have limits where traffic can go or cannot go.”

He said you will eventually start to see prices go up on items as simple as cereal.


The low water level on the Mississippi River is affecting barge traffic.