This Dec. 5, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows barges passing in tight quarters due to low water levels as they navigate the Mississippi River near St. Louis. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, a top Army Corps official, turned back requests by federal lawmakers and the barge industry to release more of the Missouri River it is withholding, believing the drought-starved Mississippi River the Missouri feeds still will remain open to shipping despite mounting concerns. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Colby Buchanan)

Associated Press
This Dec. 5, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows barges passing in tight quarters due to low water levels as they navigate the Mississippi River near St. Louis. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, a top Army Corps official, turned back requests by federal lawmakers and the barge industry to release more of the Missouri River it is withholding, believing the drought-starved Mississippi River the Missouri feeds still will remain open to shipping despite mounting concerns. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Colby Buchanan)
This Dec. 5, 2012 photo provided by The United States Coast Guard shows barges passing in tight quarters due to low water levels as they navigate the Mississippi River near St. Louis. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy, a top Army Corps official, turned back requests by federal lawmakers and the barge industry to release more of the Missouri River it is withholding, believing the drought-starved Mississippi River the Missouri feeds still will remain open to shipping despite mounting concerns. (AP Photo/United States Coast Guard, Colby Buchanan)
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