Several companies that operate barges on the drought-stricken Mississippi River have asked Gov. Steve Beshear to intervene by calling for a presidential disaster declaration.
The companies, including three based in Paducah, said doing so could be a first step in getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to improve the flow of the Mississippi.
Crounse Corp., Marquette Transportation Co., AEP River Operations, James Marine and Ingram Barge Co., made the appeal in a Dec. 20 letter.
On the day the letter was penned, company officials said 15 towboats were waiting to travel an especially shallow portion of the Mississippi with barges that were only partially filled in order to navigate the channel.
Beshear previously declined to ask for a presidential disaster declaration.