ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Army Corps of Engineers released water from the Carlyle Lake on Thursday to help barge traffic on the Mississippi River.
The latest projections regarding the river's depth indicates it will drop below 10 feet around January 7. Around January 15, the river will drop below nine feet and by January 23 it will fall below eight feet.
The Corps suggests the rock pinnacle removal effort may start to have an impact on the river depths around January 20, but it still has not been fully determined.
A large majority of towboats cannot operate at less than a nine-foot draft. Most of navigation will go on around mid-January if the latest projections without water is correct.
The uncertainty of the drafts available continues to hurt freight movements as well as the water levels. When barges reach Thebes, Illinois, shippers have continued sending light loads or cancelling trips altogether.
The channel at Thebes is closed for 16 hours of the day and only open eight hours to towboats and shippers.