Heavy rains and severe storms in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, from June into October, have resulted in several instances of flooding through the region, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today.
As of Oct. 10, the latest round of rain closed six locks on the Upper Mississippi River. The southern-most lock closure is at Lock 22, near Hannibal, Mo., which has stopped all export-bound barge shipments originating from points north including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and parts of Missouri and Illinois, the USDA said. Forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate that water levels at Lock 22 will not recede to navigable levels, until Oct. 23.
For the week ending Oct. 6, barge grain movements totaled 541,650 tons, 31% higher than the previous week and down 9% from the same period last year, the USDA said. For the week ending Oct. 6, 340 grain barges moved down river, 79 barges more than the previous week. There were 800 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 6% higher than the previous week.