As drought conditions continue here in Iowa and throughout the Midwest, river levels are plummeting. This includes the mighty Mississippi River. In fact, the Mississippi is so low there are places that were once only accessible by boat that Midwesterners are now walking to!

CNN reports that people are flocking to a place called Tower Rock, a large island in the middle of the Mississippi River just to the south of St. Louis. As with most islands, it is normally surrounded by water, and can only be visited by boat. But these are not normal times. Due to historically low river levels, residents can walk to the island, barely getting their feet wet in the process. One person told CNN that they "only remember being able to do this one other time in my life."

So just how long will people be able to make the walk over to the island? CNN reports that water levels along that stretch of the Mississippi will continue to drop over the next two weeks, allowing anyone who wants to make the walk to Tower Rock to do so with little difficulty. The island is reachable whenever the river level is below 1.5 feet at the Chester river gauge according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. Late last week, the river level at that gauge read zero, with no recovery in sight.

CNN reports that more than 55% of the U.S. is in a drought, the largest area since April. More than 133 million people live in drought-stricken areas. That is the largest number of people affected since 2016.

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