Recent heavy rains and snow falls have the region’s shippers breathing a sigh of relief. It was feared that low water levels on the Mississippi River would shut down shipping last month, but shippers say they're now back to handling full loads. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Mike Peterson says despite the good news, extended drought conditions mean river levels could drop again. “We’re still in a drought, we’re going to expect possibly low river levels if we don’t snowpack and precipitation over the spring and summer. So, unless we get a real healthy recharge of water in the system, we may be seeing some serious low river levels here in the fall.” Peterson says recently completed rock removal work near Thebes Illinois has significantly deepened the shipping channel. He says the extra depth on the particularly treacherous section of the river south of St. Louis will make it easier to manage low water levels, should they return in the future.