Posted in drought, jesus, pressure

Parts of the Mississippi River now closed to marine traffic, barges stuck with nowhere to go

On August 14, 2012, I’d posted a news article about the Mississippi River drying up. I’d reported that the marine traffic was having difficulty in places with navigating the low waters of the river, and noted how much food is transported along that vital artery of America.

Regarding how this meshes with the prophetic and the times in which we live, I’d written, “Food can become unavailable in many ways. It can be unavailable due to extended drought or heat. (Deuteronomy 28:22; Jeremiah 14:1-3; Haggai 1:11). It can be available but too expensive for most people to acquire. (Rev 6:6). Food can be eaten by locusts, worms, crickets. (Deuteronomy 28:38-29, 42). It can become unavailable due to difficulties of hostile armies surrounding the people and destroying the crops (Deut 28:48-51). Maybe the rivers dried up. “A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.’ (Jer 50:38). There are lots of ways that food is kept from the people. But there is only one reason:”

“All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees He gave you.” (Deuteronomy 28:45)”

Well, it’s a week later, and the heat and drought continues unabated in the Midwest, and the river is even lower now. Today, the news is that the Mississippi River has been closed to marine traffic along an 11-mile stretch.

Fox News reports, “Low water levels close 11-mile stretch of Mississippi River
“Nearly 100 boats and barges were waiting for passage Monday along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed due to low water levels, the U.S. Coast Guard said. New Orleans-based Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets said the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground. Tippets said the area is currently being surveyed for dredging and a Coast Guard boat is replacing eight navigation markers. He says 40 northbound vessels and 57 southbound vessels were stranded and waiting for passage Monday afternoon. … Thousands of tons of material are shipped on the river each day. Shippers who move material up and down the river on a daily basis have complained that the shallow river is forcing them to lighten the loads on their barges to avoid hitting bottom. Lighter loads mean less revenue for the shippers, who still have to deal with costs such as labor and fuel.”

The barges are not the only marine interests to be impacted by the continuing drought and heat, as this article tells us, the “Mississippi River Too Low For American Queen Steamboat To Travel
“The Mississippi River is just days away from reaching record low levels. River traffic is moving at a snail’s pace and some barge companies can no longer transport goods. Even the American Queen Steamboat can’t safely navigate the river. The huge vessel is tied up at the north end of Harbor Town, unable to finish a trip to Vicksburg.”

Passengers disembarked and were taken to Vicksburg by bus.

The river is so low in places that salt water is running UP the river and contaminating the fresh water supply in several towns. This news article quotes the Army Corps of Engineers, “The extreme drought in other areas has caused extra low river levels here and the saltwater intrusion. It’s a stark difference on the river compared to what we saw this time last year. “A year ago, we were looking at the flood of record, 17 feet on the Carrollton gauge, and here, we are now looking at drought conditions with below two feet on the Carrollton gauge. It’s amazing what the Mississippi River can do,” said Col. Ed Fleming with the Corps.”

Remember all that flooding last year? A distant memory now. Amazing is right.

The news report above said on August 10th that the river was “days away from record low.” How is the river level today, ten days after that statement? Pretty bad.

Army Corps: Low Mississippi River levels to continue into fall, water levels near record-low
“Low water levels that are restricting shipping traffic, forcing harbor closures and causing barges to run aground on the economically vital Mississippi River are expected to continue into October, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials said Tuesday. Meanwhile, more than 100 tow boats and barges remain backed up near Greenville, Miss. due to the low river. The U.S. Coast Guard opened an 11-mile stretch of river that had been closed near Greenville, replacing it with a 5-mile zone where only lighter vessels can pass. Speaking at a meeting of Corps officials, water control managers and business people in Memphis, Major Gen. John W. Peabody said that five harbors — in Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi — are closed, and several others have limited access due to low water levels along the nation’s most important inland waterway.”

Barges and their towboats accumulate alongside the Mississippi banks
of the Mississippi River near Greenville, Miss. ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Peabody said he receives reports of vessels running aground on a daily basis. He also says that river levels will likely remain low into October, which is typically when levels are the lowest each year. “The worst is ahead of us,” Peabody said.”

Major General Peabody said that the worst is ahead and he is right as far as the weather and engineering goes, but the worst is ahead also means spiritually. The river is not going to get better. The weather is not going to get better. Everything, including the sinner’s rebellious spirit,  is going to get worse and worse, until Jesus comes. We Christians are on the downward slide, the home stretch.

As these news articles discussed the impacts of the events they reported on, did you notice how much of it is interrelated? The drought and heat causes crops to fail, which causes grass to wither, which causes the roots to dry up and the topsoil to be able to blow away. Dust storms start and bring more dust. Meanwhile the river levels are dropping, and shipping, labor, and food transport is affected. The laborers still have to be paid, even though the barges carry less, and that cost is passe down to the people, who cannot afford food as it is. Even the salt water problem of running upriver and contaminating fresh water supplies is an interrelated event from the high temperatures in places far away from the river. Someone has to pay for that water to be trucked in…with money that is becoming as scarce as food is getting. So it is all related.

With the record floods last year and the record drought his year, it just makes me wonder what Jesus will do next. I stand in awe of Him, and His ways. The bible forecasts much more in store for the world. I feel the pressure building. Do you?

Most of the world is rebelling, so the pressure of the Spirit who guides and nudges is being resisted in ever greater quantities by both the Spirit-filled Christian and the godless sinner. At the same time, “During the present age he and his demon host dominate, pressure, and control every person who is unsaved. He is the personification of spiritual death because he is the personification of rebellion against God—and so is the system he designed.” (source).

 This pressure we feel from the satanic system is going to be crushed.


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.