Durbin discusses declining water level of the Mississippi River

By WEEK Producer

November 29, 2012 Updated Dec 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Dick Durbin and other Midwest politicians met Thursday with the Assistant Secretary of the Army Corps of Engineers about the declining water level of the Mississippi River.

Joe-Ellen Darcy told the lawmakers the Corps can't legally increase the water flow from the Missouri River into the Mississippi.

The fear is the Mississippi River will be too low for barge traffic altogether, which would affect shippers all over the Midwest, including those who use the Illinois River.

"We have joined in a bipartisian letter with Senators from the Midwest asking for the Corps of Engineers to measure the impact of release from the Missouri River," said U.S. Senator and Transportation Secretary Dick Durbin. "Before we can make a request of the White House for this release, we need this information."

The Army Corp of Engineers did promise to dredge part of the Mississippi near St. Louis to allow barges through.