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Durbin, Enyart Take A Look At Mississippi River Levels

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THEBES, IL (KTVI)-- Political heavyweights from Washington are in the Metro East to get a firsthand look at the Mississippi River.

US Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Bill Enyart from Belleville toured the river in Thebes, Illinois.

That is where work is underway to remove rocks.

The river is so shallow at Thebes, barge traffic can barely get by.

The pair also met with the army corps of engineers to discuss efforts to keep the river open.

The Mississippi River hasn`t been this low since World War II. But now the outlook seems optimistic.

That`s because the Army Corps of Engineers has continued around the clock dredging work and is working with the coast guard to remove rocks from the river downstream from St. Louis.

Which is not to say river commerce hasn`t slowed. It has. But it keeps moving.

In fact, it turns out nations from China to Croatia have anxiously been watching the river`s level.

A combination of warmer weather melting ice upriver, some projected rain in this area, and round the clock dredging has kept traffic flowing and is projected to keep it moving through the end of this month at least.