The Coast Guard reopened the Upper Mississippi River near St. Louis on Monday, but traffic restrictions remain in place until water levels return to normal.
“Although the river is reopened to vessel traffic, the water levels are still unusually high and carry additional associated risks. Mariners should proceed with extreme caution as they resume their operations,” said Capt. Martin Malloy, commander, Sector Upper Mississippi River.
According to the Coast Guard, the river has been reopened from mile marker 185.4 to mile marker 179. Mariners are urged to operate in accordance with the Coast Guard-issued Broadcast Notice to Mariners and the appropriate Waterways Action Plan.
In a Broadcast Notice to Mariners issued May 3, the Coast Guard said towboat operators should proceed at their slowest safe operating speed, based on prevailing conditions, to minimize wake damage. The Coast Guard also encouraged all mariners to remain vigilant to an increase in debris in the water and maneuver appropriately, warning that navigational buoys may have been dragged off station.
Recreational traffic is strongly discouraged, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard advised mariners to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any changes to operating restrictions.