Sen. Boozman surveys low Miss. River levels in Osceola

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 7:55 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OSCEOLA, Ark. (WMC) - Low river levels continue to plague the Mid-South and the entire river regions, for that matter.

In Osceola, it’s no different.

The National Weather Service’s river gauge for that area read -8.70ft. Thursday evening.

“This year, we only had one dock out of three going,” said Jeff Worsham with Poinsett Rice & Grain.

Worsham is the Port Manager for Poinsett Rice & Grain, overseeing what’s been the worst river conditions he’s seen in his twenty years with the company.

During peak grain harvesting season, only one dock in service, on top of barge restrictions, has called for creative storage solutions.

“We did have to put some (grain) in grain bags, and we had a warehouse that we had to store soybeans in that we’ve never had to do, just trying to find space,” said Worshum.

Fortunately, harvesting season is ending, and Worshum says he and his team are able to schedule out shipments “in a more relaxed manner.”

“It helps a lot, you know, not having the grain in the fields,” Worshum said. “It’s in the bins; it’s dry.”

Fresh off his reelection, Arkansas Senator John Boozman visited Osceola and Poinsett Rice & Grain Thursday afternoon, alongside local elected leaders and business stakeholders.

“You hear all about these things. there’s no substitute for actually being here,” Boozman told us.

Boozman is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Committee for Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

He plans to take what he saw on the river to Capitol Hill and advise fellow Senators on the situation.

“This is not just a problem of regional significance. This truly is a national emergency,” Boozman said. “(The Federal Government) is doing a good job, I think, to make sure there’s not anything else that we need to be doing, whether it’s increasing funding or personnel... just how we can be helpful.”

The Senator also says he plans to work with the state’s delegation and local legislative delegations to ensure the state is on the same page with the Federal government in this regard.

Whether high or low, though, Worsham said the river’s unpredictability is part of the job.

“We’re still going to move the grain. It’s just taking us longer to get it down the river,” said Worsham.

NWS predicts a roller coaster of rising and falling over the next several weeks.

It’s anticipated to reach 0.5ft. by November 20th but back to -6ft. by November 26th.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.