Mississippi River drops, threatening barge traffic

Published: .
Updated: .

The Mississippi River level is dropping again because of drought. Barge industry trade groups warn that river commerce could essentially come to a halt as early as next week in an area south of St. Louis.

The Coast Guard remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open. But officials with two trade groups - the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council Inc. - said in a joint news release that even if the river is open, further limits on barges will bring commercial traffic to a halt.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)