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McConnell, Paul call for drought disaster declaration

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have urged Gov. Steve Beshear to seek a federal disaster declaration because of the potential economic consequences of a drought that has led to low water levels on the Mississippi River.

McConnell and Paul said in a letter to Beshear on Thursday that commercial traffic on the river could "come to a complete halt in coming days" unless the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes action to increase the water flow.

They urged Beshear to request the federal disaster declaration, hoping that might "trigger a response from the Obama Administration."

The senators described the diminishing water levels on the river as "a looming crisis" that could affect Kentucky's shipping, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.


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