The center of the U.S. is drier than Jame Bond's martini. Later this summer the water level in the Mississippi might be the lowest since records have been kept. It's not a problem downtown, where these photos were taken, but there are now sand bars in the river north and south of here that interfere with barge navigation.
It's not unusual to have room for three or four cars across to park on the stone levee. Now the water is past the level where the levee starts to disintegrate because it's so seldom exposed. When the river rises, everything you can see in the top picture is covered, and then some.