Flooding To Force Mississippi River Closure Later In Week

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)--A 250-mile stretch of the Mississippi River is expected to close later this week because of flooding, bringing barge traffic to a halt, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday.

The corps plans to close locks and dams from Fulton, Ill. to Clarksville, Mo., possibly as early as Thursday, said Ron Fournier, a corps spokesman.

"We've told barge operators to get their tows off the river because we're closing it," Fournier said.

Fournier said the closure could last up to two weeks. The only lock and dam in that stretch of the river that won't be affected is at Keokuk, Iowa, because the gates are high enough that they shouldn't be affected, he said.
The closing will stop barges carrying everything from grain and coal to steel and fertilizer, industry officials said.