MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A year ago, the Mississippi River swelled to near-historic proportions and flooded farms and homes from Illinois to Louisiana. Now, the water level is so low that cargo barges have run aground and their operators have been forced to lighten their loads.
Those who make their living on the river say it's remarkable, yet normal. The river can be fickle and is high some years, low in others.
Tommy Hart is the director of the port in Greenville, Miss. He says he's hoping for rain, something he usually doesn't like.
The low water levels mean cargo ships have to carry lighter loads, which means they make less money each trip.
The shrinking river has been caused by low rainfall totals, as well as a mild winter.