Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is urging U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to sponsor and pass legislation that would force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to raise the water level on the Mississippi where drought conditions could soon halt barge traffic.
Beshear sent a letter to McConnell and Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday asking them to take the action quickly.
MORE: Mississippi River dropping slower than expected
MORE: Drought threatens to close Mississippi to barges
MORE: Quinn, Blunt join in on river concerns
MORE: Wharton attends Mississippi River summit
MORE: Low river a gateway to the past
MORE: Dredging the Mighty Mississippi
MORE: Mississippi River Level Nears Historic Low
MORE: Mississippi River Could Reach Historic Low
The three have warned of potentially negative economic consequences if the water level on the Mississippi River continues to fall.
McConnell and Paul said in a letter to Beshear last week that commercial traffic on the river could "come to a complete halt in coming days" unless the Corps of Engineers takes action to increase the water flow.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.