Johnny Cash once sang the lyrics, "How highs the water mama"? In the year 2021, he'd have to re-cut that song and ask, "How lows the water...". The lack of rain in Northern parts of Minnesota for much of the year has translated to historic low river levels farther south, including spots along the Mississippi River. So low in fact, that some secrets the river held close are being revealed.

The Mississippi River is so low right now near St. Louis, that a sunken World War 2 ship has been exposed. That ship is the USS Inaugural. It was a minesweeper in WW2 and according to WHO it used to be a National Historic Landmark and open to the public for tours. So what is it doing at the bottom of the Mississippi River? The ship was once moored in St. Louis. But during the historic floods of 1993, the river reached a historic crest of 49.58 feet. The ship broke loose, drifted downstream, turned over onto it's side, and sank to the bottom of the river.

To put into context how low the Mississippi River is right now, yesterday near where the USS Inaugural is now visible, the river level was at 3.85 feet and falling on Tuesday. This isn't the first time the ship has popped up due to low river levels. It also occurred back in 2012 and 2015.

So can the historic WW2 ship be saved? Sadly, the National Park Service said that plans to salvage the wreck and restore it are simply not feasible, according to WHO. The ship is a total loss. Eventually, it will be salvaged for scrap metal. But for right now, we can take one final look at a historic ship that deserved a better final resting place.


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