But there’s too much water. Flooding is forcing boats and barges to wait for the river to drop. In the Quad Cities, bordering Illinois and Iowa, the Mississippi just dropped below flood stage for the first time in 96 consecutive days, crushing the prior 42-day record.
On June 12, Mark Glaab looked through papers on his desk to find that there were 642 barges in the Ohio River next to his American Commercial Barge Line office near Cairo.
“And that’s just me, that’s not the other fleets in the area. That’s just ACBL,” said Glaab, who manages the facility.
“(The port) has been on the radar of, you know, different groups for many years. But this is the closest we've ever been actually building one,” said Larry Klein, a semi-retired utility company worker and member of the local port authority board.
Former Mayor Tyrone Coleman has high hopes for this port, too. He told a group of journalists in April that there’s no limit to what this port could bring. Maybe a few trucking jobs here, then a gas station there. Maybe a few more people moving into town.