ST. LOUIS (February 27, 2013)--Mississippi River shippers say they're again handling full loads now that the drought-ravaged waterway has been cleared of rocks in some places and is rising from runoff from winter storms.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard say the crisis is over.
The water level is rising and rocks have been cleared to deepen the channel in places, the corps said.
The corps recently removed riverbed rocks from a treacherous stretch south of St. Louis, and it says recent snow and rain have helped raise the Mississippi.
Shippers reduced their loads late last year and in January because of low water levels, and there were concerns barge traffic could be halted near St. Louis.
Still, the Army Corps says the same problems could re-emerge next winter because the nation's worst drought in decades is showing no signs of easing.