High water forces closure of two sections of Illinois River

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

(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) — The Coast Guard has issued a safety zone on the Illinois River, restricting all vessel traffic from mile marker 187 to mile marker 145.6, and mile marker 80.2 to mile marker 10 due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents on Tuesday.

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

The Coast Guard captain of the port determines when to issue a river closure by following a waterways action plan, which provides the maritime 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.

“During this extended period of high water, public safety is our number one priority,” said Capt. Scott Stoermer, captain of the port, Sector Upper Mississippi River. “I urge commercial and recreational boaters to heed all safety advisories to avoid potentially dangerous conditions caused by floods and fast moving water.”

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

By Professional Mariner Staff