The Mississippi River Is Really Low And This Is How It’s Impacting Davenport
Over the summer, the city of Davenport has seen quite a bit of river tourism but that looks like it will come to a halt.
The Mississippi River, as a whole, is just low. Near my hometown, at Memphis, the river reads about 6 ft. as of Monday morning. The river at Rock Island is at just about 4 ft., which is where it's expected to hover over the week. Because of these levels, Viking Cruises cannot sail past Memphis and will not be coming to Davenport.
According to the Quad-City Times, Viking Cruises said that planned upriver cruises were now having to stop in Memphis because of the unanticipated low river levels. A spokesperson for the cruise line said:
As you can imagine, this is a very complicated situation and the decision was a difficult one: We will be disembarking our passengers in Memphis. Therefore, we will not be continuing the cruise north, and our visit to the Quad-Cities will be canceled for Tuesday, Oct. 11th. Further, due to the river conditions, it has been decided to remove the risk of running into this again, and Viking Mississippi will not be sailing past Memphis again this year. We will sail down to New Orleans to start the Lower Mississippi River season once our current guests are safely home.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean you won't see the big ships around. The Quad-City Times also reports that American Queen Voyages (which dock in Bettendorf) will continue to sail in the Upper Mississippi and the American Queen ship is expected to come to the QC later this week.
Chief of Corporate Communications for the U.S. Army Corps Engineers, Rock Island, Allen Marshall told the Times that no delays were being reported from Lock & Dam 11 to 22, which of course includes Lock & Dam 15 here at the QC. So it appears that even though the river seems low here, it's not causing the same problems as the lower part of the river is facing.
I'll Take Supply Chain Issues for 600, Alex
We didn't need another thing to cause supply chain issues but it's not only cruise ships that are struggling to navigate the river right now: it's barges as well. CNN Business reports that eight barges have run aground in the last week because of the low levels on the Mississippi River.
It's of course harvest season and crop transportation is essential. There are over 2,200 barges stuck in two parts of the Lower Mississippi River: near Memphis and near Vicksburg, Mississippi. And even once they can get through, they will be required to drop 20% of their load as to not weigh themselves down in the already shallow water.