FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, a barge powers its way up the Mississippi River in St. Louis. According to Coast Guard officials Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, the Mississippi River

 

              FILE - In this  Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, a barge powers its way up the Mississippi River in St. Louis. According to Coast Guard officials Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, the Mississippi River
FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2012 file photo, a barge powers its way up the Mississippi River in St. Louis. According to Coast Guard officials Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, the Mississippi River level is dropping again and could get so low as early as next week that some barge operators will stop operating. But a Guard official remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open to traffic despite the worst drought in decades. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)