Low river levels bring out treasure hunters - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Low river levels bring out treasure hunters

For the Lewis and Clark in all of us, the drought situation may just have a silver lining. For the Lewis and Clark in all of us, the drought situation may just have a silver lining.
The low river levels are perfect for explorers out looking for treasures. The low river levels are perfect for explorers out looking for treasures.
PERRY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

The latest U.S. drought monitor doesn't contain much good news for the Heartland.

Our drought calculator shows the Heartland is already 136 days into the drought, and the latest update shows it's actually gotten worse in Missouri.

Nearly all of Missouri and Nebraska are in extreme or exceptional drought, and the report finds Illinois and Kansas aren't doing much better.  

For the Lewis and Clark in all of us, the drought situation may just have a silver lining.

The low river levels are perfect for explorers out looking for treasures.

Tower Rock in Perry County, Missouri is a fascinating Heartland landmark island in the Mississippi River.

It is a popular area for tourists and locals.

"Never have seen it down this low," said Lacey Coyle.  

Lacey Coyle lives in Indiana, and is back in Southeast Missouri on a visit.

She couldn't wait to come out and explore.

"You might be lucky and find fossils, that's what I've been doing," said Coyle. "All of these rocks are ancient."

She is among many hunting for treasures, perhaps for something amazing that is now surfacing.

Fishermen are discovering treasures of their own. You might remember recently an old mysterious boat that was uncovered in New Madrid County.

"People have been going up and down the Mississippi for hundreds if not thousands of years so we have no idea what's on the bottom," said Dr. Frank Nickell.  

Dr. Nickell is the Director of the Center of Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University. He says even more may soon be revealed.

"If the Corps of Engineers are correct we may see bottom areas of the Mississippi River that have not been visible in modern times," said Nickell.  

While the drought situation could cause a national navigation crisis in the coming months if we don't see rainfall, it is certainly giving historians and archaeologists a rare look into our past.

"This is a section of river that has not been seen for a very long time," said Nickell.  

Explorers like Lacey Coyle consider it a once in a lifetime experience.

"it's just wonderful," said Coyle.  

Don't forget also about the hidden dangers on the rivers as well.  

The river is not a safe place to be, and authorities are warning people to stay off of sandbars because they could collapse under the weight of a person.

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