High water forces closure of Mississippi River near St. Louis

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) — The Coast Guard has closed a portion of the Mississippi River to all vessel traffic from mile marker 179 to 184 due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents Friday.

Vessel operators may request permission to move within the closure zone from the captain of the port representative at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River via VHF Channel 16 or at (314) 269-2332 at least 30 minutes prior to movement.

Vessel movements within the closure zone should be to monitor or increase waterway and port safety only. The captain of the port will review each request to move within the closure zone on a case-by-base basis.

While outside the river closure zone, the Coast Guard strongly encourages southbound transits between mile marker 179 and the JB Bridge at mile marker 168.5 only occur during daylight hours.

The Coast Guard captain of the port determines when to issue a river closure by following a waterways action plan, which provides the marine industry, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state and local governments with a coordinated plan for facilitating the safe and orderly movement of traffic during extreme conditions on the inland rivers.

Restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve.

By Professional Mariner Staff