Looking down the Mississippi River, lots more sand can be seen.
(Columbus, KY August 22, 2012) - The heart of America’s inland waterway system has been dealt a severe blow from the Mega Drought this week. Just outside Memphis Tennessee, the U.S. Corps of Engineers closed the mighty river to traffic along a 11 mile section of river just south of that city.
As of Monday, August 21, over 100 barges and private boats are stopped and waiting to see how long it will take to reopen the river. A typical barge tow will consist of 15 barges being pushed by a river tug boat. Each barge may be 35 ft. wide and 200 ft. long.
The average barge tow of 15 units, three across and five deep, will move 22,000 tons of cargo per unit. A single 15 barge tow is equivalent to about 225 railroad cars or 870 tractor trailer trucks...