At 4.86 feet, the Mississippi River is 52 feet below where it was on May 19, 2011, at the height of last year's historic flooding.

It is about 37 feet below the record high for July 2, which was also last year, and about 18 feet below the average for this time of year.

Drought conditions are contributing to a river level that may not be the lowest it's ever been but is still cause for concern.

“We've had barges running aground, shoaling in a few places,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Walthour said. “We've had some groundings, but none have resulted in a major incident yet. There have been no injuries.”

Read more at: Mississippi mighty low: Drying up quickly