THE MIDWEST: Battle of the Waters

The bottleneck was at the Alton (Ill.) lock, just below the point where the Illinois River, fed in part from Lake Michigan by way of the man-made Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, joins the sluggish Mississippi in its 2,350-mile sweep to the Gulf. There, as many as 200 Chicago-bound barges were stalled at one time this fall as the water in the lower sill, diminished by the four-year drought in the Mississippi Valley (TIME, Dec. 17), fell from its normal (9 ft.) level to a bottom-scraping 6 ft., thus forcing the carriers to...

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