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View Diary: Drought and Low Water: The Mississippi May Be Unnavigable Within Weeks (191 comments)

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  •  Freeze over? Not the lower Mississippi (8+ / 0-)

    Way too much water movement (and barge traffic) to freeze over in winter.  The St Louis lock system sounds like the biggest problem area though.  

    •  Low water (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, LilithGardener, SadieSue

      If the Missisippi has low water nothing gets south. The upper river and the waters flowing into it freeze every year. The port  of Duluth shut down every year when the lake freezes over. I'm not saying it's not a problem, but if it happens every year they must have plans in place to deal with it. Long term, yeah it's a huge problem if it happens for longer periods of time through the year.

      •  The entire River doesn't freeze over. It takes (7+ / 0-)

        time for the upper river to freeze over.  It won't be until January before it's had a chance to freeze over.  Depending upon where the freezing is taking place and how deep the freeze, there are ice breakers that will force parts of the river open.  In Iowa with the lock and dams, it'll just shut down for around a month.  There's just too much water moving.

        The difference is that the freeze is a known thing.  They have a reasonable idea of how long the sections of river will be frozen over.  With the drought, there's no clue as to how long it'll last.  Law suits are starting over using dams to hold back water for places upriver instead of just sending it all down.  This law suit is about the Army Corps of Engineers closing the dam on the Missouri somewhere in SD and limiting water going down into the Mississippi.

        The irony is that the Missouri was severely flooded in 2011.  Talk about going from one extreme to the other.

        •  Come to think of it, Lakes Superior and/or (4+ / 0-)

          Michigan used to entirely freeze over about every ten years or so.  I remember the last time it happened to Superior back around the early '90s.  I doubt we'll ever see it again.

          Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

          by Ice Blue on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:06:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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