Just weeks after severe flooding closed portions of the Mississippi River to shipping traffic, the vital waterway now faces problems of a different sort: ships are running aground in the navigation channel. The floods washed tons of sediment into the river, and rainfall since then has been sparse, causing water levels to drop up to a foot a day in some areas. In St. Louis, where the river crested at 38.7 feet on July 1, water levels now stand at just 8.4 feet.

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