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Low-Water Rivers Offering Up Glimpse Of History

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The USS Inaugural minesweeper, exposed on a sand bar on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis on December 7, 2012. Due to drought conditions, water levels on the river have dropped to 13 feet, possibly going as low as nine feet before the end of the year. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The USS Inaugural minesweeper, exposed on a sand bar on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis on December 7, 2012. Due to drought conditions, water levels on the river have dropped to 13 feet, possibly going as low as nine feet before the end of the year. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS (AP) Drought-drained rivers are offering a rare and fleeting glimpse into years gone by. Lack of rain has left many rivers at low levels unseen for decades, creating problems for river commerce and recreation and raising concerns about water supplies and hydropower if the drought persists.

But receding water offers an occasional treasure trove of history. An old steamboat is now visible on the Missouri River near St. Charles and other old boats are showing up elsewhere. A World War II minesweeper, once moored as a museum at St. Louis before it was torn away by Mississippi River floodwaters in 1993, has become visible, rusted but intact.

And a rock containing what is believed to be an ancient map has emerged in the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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