In another sign, the megadrought is wreaking havoc across the Western half of the US. There are multiple portions of the Mississippi River that are nearing record low water levels that may inhibit commercial or private vessels from traversing the critical waterway.
The stretch of the Mississippi River at St. Paul, Minnesota, is around 3.2 feet Wednesday. That's about six inches from the record low of 2.6 feet set in 1976.
A camera on the Wabasha Street Bridge that spans the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul shows the receding waterline.
Downstream, the Mississippi River at Red Wing is also near the record low of 1.8 feet, set in 2003. It's about 2.2 feet today.
Further downstream, Lucy McMartin, City of Winona, located on the Mississippi River, told local news WXOW that "we actually see a lot of commercial activity in our harbor. What concerns me is the water levels are so low, that as the barges are assembled and put together and are proceeding up and down the river, they can run into issues if the water continues to drop in its levels."
More downstream, at Dubuque Marina in Dubuque, Iowa, along the Mississippi River, water levels continue to drop to their lowest in more than eight years.
Rod and Pat Stalker, of Texas, told the Telegraph Herald that they sailed their 45-foot Carver yacht up the Mississippi River to Dubuque but are now stuck at a marina because the water in the main channel is less than 2.5 feet. The yacht requires 3.5 feet of water.
"Everyone here has been basically locked into the marina for the last two to three weeks," Rod said. "We went out a couple of weeks ago and we were churning mud, so we decided not to go. Most people are choosing not to go out to avoid thousands of dollars of damage to the bottom of the boat."
Others on Twitter have pointed out that parts of the Mississippi River are very low.
Well its not a good day for boating or fishing on Mississippi River in St.. Cloud MN with the very low water levels. Those rocks are the bottom of the river. pic.twitter.com/CVcLL9ypZW— Peter Soregi (@PSoregi) July 2, 2021
This is how low the Mississippi River is in Sartell, MN. During a normal year, it would be waist deep or higher where I took this pic from. Tagging my fave weather nerd, @svensundgaard pic.twitter.com/Wi3LnW4A2J— Dorf (@TriviaDorf) July 10, 2021
The Mississippi River is low. Not sure if I ever seen the water levels so low. Can see a Carp family In the weeds. pic.twitter.com/jMHU2LsMPF— Smile E. Face (@realsmilyus) July 10, 2021
Crossing the low Mississippi River today to an island had me wondering, if I break a leg on these rocks does the Hennepin County Sheriff Dept have to assist since it is a River or because it is dried up they do not assist. Newbie County Commish Question of the Day !! pic.twitter.com/ykAMBCFLYe— Jeffrey Joneal Lunde (@JeffreyJLunde) July 10, 2021
Not so mighty after all?