Before-and-after photos show how the Mississippi River has dropped dramatically, choking a crucial shipping corridor

Share to friends
Listen to this article
people walk on a brown riverbank with a barge in the distance in the water
Barges make their means down the Mississippi River, the place the water ranges have reached document lows in Memphis, Tennessee, on October 23, 2022.

  • The Mississippi River is at a historic low, exposing new land that was once coated by water.
  • Satellite photographs show how skinny the river has turn out to be in some areas, and how parched the land is.
  • Other photos show a former island that folks can now stroll to on the dry riverbed.

The Mississippi River has fallen to historic lows, and the results are seen from house.

A summer of heat waves baked the central US, adopted by a flash drought this fall in the Ohio and Missouri river valleys, which drain into the Mississippi. With no rainfall to make up the deficit, the nice river dropped to document lows in some locations.

Satellite photographs, and different footage from earlier than and after this drop in water ranges, show how dramatic the distinction is. In the under footage, it is clear that extra dry earth is uncovered in October 2022, on the proper, than at the similar time final yr. Highlighting the drought, some areas of land that have been inexperienced in 2021 are brown in 2022.

side by side satellite images show mississippi river in october 2021 and october 2022 with much more dry earth
Satellite photographs from October 2021, left, and October 2022, proper, show how low the Mississippi River is that this yr, with extra naked earth uncovered.

Barges received caught in the shallow waters in early October, prompting the Coast Guard to impose new weight limits and the US Army Corps of Engineers to go on a dredging spree. Commercial site visitors on the river — paddleboats filled with vacationers and barges carrying most of the Midwest’s corn, soybeans, fertilizer, coal, and oil — slowed to a crawl.

The water ranges dropped so low that they uncovered sufficient land to stroll to Tower Rock, a standard island that is usually accessible solely by boat.

big rock formation island topped with trees sits in mississippi river
Tower Rock, in the Mississippi River, when the water ranges are regular.

People have been strolling out to the island, which is in Perry County, Missouri.

man sits on rock watches people walk across exposed river bottom to big rock island in the mississippi river
Randy Statler sits on a rock to look at individuals stroll to Tower Rock, an attraction usually surrounded by the Mississippi River and solely accessible by boat, in Perry County, Missouri, on October 19, 2022.

Meteorologists at AccuWeather anticipate the river will keep this low till January at the earliest. The forecast requires small quantities of rain, which is able to possible be sufficient to forestall the waters from dropping decrease, however not sufficient to replenish the river.

“What they may do, these rain events, is just kind of hold back from things getting any worse than they are right now,” Paul Pastelok, a meteorologist at AccuWeather, informed Insider.

“As far as improvement goes, we’re going to need the Ohio River and the mid- and lower-Mississippi River region to be hit with maybe twice as much, if not three times as much, as their normal precipitation they get from now to January. So it’s going to be hard to completely cure the problem,” he mentioned.

Through December, AccuWeather estimates the financial losses at $20 billion. That’s as a result of 92% of US agricultural exports are produced in the Mississippi River basin, to be exported by way of the Gulf of Mexico.

Read the unique article on Business Insider