Low water levels threaten Oklahoma exports

CATOOSA, Okla. - Oklahoma's extreme drought is affecting farmer's crops and how they ship them across the world.

The low water levels are threatening to stop Oklahoma's exports.  
 
At the Port of Catoosa the water level doesn't look so bad, it's high enough to carry the barges but when the barge heads toward New Orleans the water level will be drastically different.
 
The level gets much lower when the Arkansas meets the Mississippi River.
 
Officials at the Port of Catoosa say they're hitting bottom and that wasn't a problem six months ago.  They said the Army Corps of Engineers is stepping in to help tow boats on the Mississippi River because captains are stuck.
 
Low water levels have a direct effect on the port because every shipment in and out goes through the Mississippi.
 
Bob Portis with the Port of Catoosa said, "We won't have as many barges going out."
 
Gavilon Grain is in the business of shipping out grain.  It's one of Oklahoma's largest exports.  
 
With the lack of rain affecting their crops, Gavilon Grain has seen a decline in how much is sent by water.
 
Phil Guettermann with Gavilon Grain said, "It looks like we'll be down 30-40 percent.  That's on the good side.  That's if we get some more rain."
 
Port officials want to stress their water level is fine, but if enough rain doesn't come by November, that's when they'll start to get concerned.
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