It's not just on land where drought is taking a toll: a 100-mile stretch of the Platte River has dried up, while barges along the lower Mississippi are having to carry less cargo in order to navigate shallower water.
The Mississippi impact is one that goes far beyond the immediate area: About 60 percent of the nation's grain, 22 percent of its oil and gas, and 20 percent of the nation's coal goes down the river. Lighter barges mean longer waits for those products.
The river is essentially dry from Columbus to Kearney, about 100 miles away.
"You may find a little trickle in some stretches of that, but nothing to support fish," Daryl Bauer, a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staffer, told the Lincoln Journal-Star.
"The river was full of fish, and to see them all die is a travesty,
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