Successive days of thunderstorms and heavy rains in the upper
Midwest may cause at least one lock closure around the
Independence Day holiday, according to Mike Petersen, spokesman
for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis
Based on weather
forecasts issued June 26, "we may close Lock and Dam 24 at
Clarksville, Mo. The crest date is July 5 at 33 feet (above
flood stage)," he said.
"Once the Louisiana
railroad bridge closes (Champ Clark Bridge in Louisiana, Mo.),
there is nothing going south or north," Petersen said.
As of June 26, there
were 26 barges moving south between Locks 19 and 25 as well as
52 barges sailing north, according to the Corps Lock
Performance Monitoring System. That same day, storms produced
four to six inches of rain across sections of northern
Illinois, whose tributaries feed the Illinois and Mississippi
"It looks like another
decent bump in the river (level)," Petersen said.
The agency has already
met with the U.S. Coast Guard and River Industry Action
Committee, which represents shippers and vessel operators, to
let them know of the potential closure at Clarksville. Regular
communications "help the industry to minimize the impact of
what happens on the river," Petersen said.
The Army Corps of
Engineers and the Coast Guard provided advance warning of
near-record flooding in April (
amm.com, April 19) and additional
navigation challenges earlier in June (
amm.com, June 5), which shut down locks up and
down the Mississippi and closed the Illinois River at