Drought

Droughts can do significant harm to the industry, dropping water levels so low in lakes, rivers and streams that boaters can't use them and dealers, boatyards and marinas lose significant business.

SAMSUNG

Parched

Record heat, drought turn boating lakes into dust bowls in hardest-hit areas of the nation’s midsection Unseasonably warm and dry summers have helped temper the effects of the economic downturn, but now they may be too much of a good thing. The nation’s widespread drought shows no signs of relenting, causing more than one boat…more

Drought-delayed boat traffic starts moving on the Mississippi

Barge traffic resumed along an 11-mile stretch of the drought-ravaged Mississippi River near Greenville, Miss., but dozens of vessels waited their turn Thursday to pass in the shrunken waterway — creating a costly situation for barge owners that could be passed on to consumers. The Mississippi, the country’s primary highway for barge traffic, has dropped…more

Low water strands boats on Mississippi River

The Coast Guard said 97 boats and barges were waiting for passage along an 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed because of low water levels. Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets told The Associated Press on Monday that the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11,…more

Drought slows flow of commerce on the Mississippi

The Coast Guard estimates that $50 billion to $60 billion of commerce flows through the Mississippi River every year, but the mighty waterway isn’t as big as usual when the country suffers from a drought, as it has this summer. Barges that carry such cargo as high fructose corn syrup, grain, coal and diesel fuel…more

Drought has some hoping for a hurricane

The nation’s widespread drought shows no signs of relenting, causing more than one boat dealer to wish in desperation for a hurricane. “In Phoenix itself it’s hurt us because you just don’t go out on a boat when it’s 110 degrees,” said Mark Friedrich of West Marine in Phoenix. “[On a recent day] it was…more

Dealers say ethanol damage increases with drought

Some boat dealers in states affected by drought and high temperatures say they’re seeing an increase in boats with ethanol damage. “We’re seeing more boats affected by ethanol because the boats are sitting longer,” Jeff Seims, at Blue Springs Marine near Kansas City, Mo., told Soundings Trade Only. “They might use them once every month…more

VIDEO: Drought closes boat ramps in Colorado

Boat ramps at a Colorado reservoir are closing for the rest of the year as the water level drops because of drought conditions. Ramps across the country have closed as drought conditions worsen, according to news reports. The boat ramps at Williams Fork reservoir no longer reach the surface of the water, according to the…more

Drought nearly sinks powerboat race

A championship boat race in north-central Illinois was held this weekend, thanks to a volunteer who helped pump millions of gallons of water into drought-stricken Lake DePue. Rich Magnuson led a volunteer effort to build a makeshift dam with sandbags and then fill the lake with water pumped from a nearby river, according to an…more

Drought prompts warning to boaters in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to use extra caution at public boat launches because water levels are low as a result of drought conditions. Low water levels increase the risk to boaters launching or removing boats and could lead to boat damage if operators don’t use proper caution, the department said…more

Summer flood risk high in several states

Forecasters say flooding this season in the upper Midwest and northern Plains could rival the Great Flood of 1993, when the upper Midwest endured persistent, record-breaking floods from April through August, affecting nine states and causing more than $25 billion in damage. Many rivers in that section of the country remain above flood stage, and…more

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