Local News
3:03 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Barge Owners Want Beshear's Help in Raising River Level

Several companies that operate barges on the drought-stricken Mississippi River have asked Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear to intervene by calling for a presidential disaster declaration.

The companies, including three based in Paducah, say such a request could be a first step in getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to improve the flow of theMississippi.

The companies made the appeal in a Dec. 20 letter.

On the day the letter was penned, company officials said 15 towboats were waiting to travel an especially shallow portion of the Mississippi with barges that were only partially filled in order to navigate the channel.

Beshear previously declined to ask for a presidential disaster declaration, but has called on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to sponsor legislation that would force the Army Corps to release the water.