Flooding in Ill. and Mo. cause delays up and down the Mississippiby William Wilcoxen, Minnesota Public Radio
Companies that rely on commodities shipped by barge up the Mississippi River are preparing for delays. Flooding is prompting the Army Corps of Engineers to close locks and dams on a portion of the river in Illinois and Missouri beginning tomorrow.
St. Paul, Minn. — People who do business on the river expect some springtime flooding and may even plan on delays. But the president of a Saint Paul barge servicing company expected that this year's floods had passed.
Lee Nelson of Upper River Services said high water closed the area's river terminals once already in late April and early May, a month before heavy rains caused a new round of flooding.
Nelson said there are problems with closing the river now. "One, it's a little bit late in the year, two, in some instances because the weather systems are still coming in, there's no crest forecasted yet. It's too far out to forecast a crest. So it's going to be more prolonged," Nelson said.
The Army Corps of Engineers hopes to reopen the river to shipping within two weeks. Nelson estimated lost revenue in the region could amount to 200-thousand dollars a day.