Durbin-led meeting to discuss drought, shipping

Durbin-led meeting to discuss drought, shipping

FILE - In this June 28, 2011 file photo, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Durbin, three other US senators and health officials from the cities hosting the World Series are urging the baseball players union to agree to a ban on chewing tobacco at games and on camera. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 14 at 11:36 AM

EAST ALTON, Ill. -- Illinois’ senior U.S. senator will convene a meeting early next week about the low Mississippi River and concerns it soon may force a slowdown or shutdown of shipping on that corridor.

Sen. Dick Durbin’s office says he will host the private gathering Monday in East Alton to discuss efforts to keep the river open to barge traffic.

Durbin says invitees will include members of the state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Pat Quinn and representatives of the agricultural, shipping, coal and petroleum industries.

Months of drought have left water levels up to 20 feet below normal from St. Louis to Cairo (KEHR’-oh). The problem was worsened last month when the outflow from an upper Missouri River dam was cut, meaning far less Missouri River water flows into the Mississippi.

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