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Mississippi Receding Faster Than Expected, Shippers Say

Water levels in the Mississippi River south of St. Louis are falling faster than anticipated, requiring more urgent action to keep the nation’s busiest waterway open, according to a group of shipping companies.

Debra Colbert, senior vice president of the Waterways Council Inc., said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now projects river levels may fall to a point at which many tugboats can’t operate by Jan. 3 or Jan. 4. Previous estimates indicated that the river would remain navigable until at least the middle of the month, she said.