Coast Guard restricts traffic on the upper Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of St. Louis has restricted traffic on the Mississippi River in response to high water, Monday.

The upper Mississippi River is closed to all traffic from mile markers 179 to mile 184 near the St. Louis Harbor. Fleet vessels are permitted to operate in the zone to ensure the safety and integrity of their fleets. Seven locks, from Lock 17 to 25 are closed, and Lock 16 at Muscatine, Iowa, expected to close today, according to the Corps of Engineers.

The Coast Guard encourages mariners to ensure that moored vessels and barges are adequately secured with the anticipation of increased current and high water. Debris may be an increased hazard to navigation and may drag buoys off station.

Exercise caution when dislodging debris from fleeting areas and communicate the same to downstream fleets. Southbound operations are not recommended unless a vessel is at least 75′ long and 1,800 hp. The Coast Guard told Reutersthat eight towboats pushing a total of 70 barges were queued up at locks between miles 273 and 325 on the Mississippi as of mid-Monday.

All mariners are advised to exercise caution when in close proximity to railways when navigating toward the river bank. The increased level of caution is to ensure the safety of railway systems near the river’s edge.

All concerned mariners may contact Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River at 314-269-2332 or the Coast Guard on VHF-FM radio channel 16.

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