CHICAGO Locks on the upper and middle Mississippi River should reopen by the end of the holiday weekend, sources at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island and St. Louis districts told AMM July 3.
June storms delivered record or near-record rainfall for northeastern Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, causing river levels to top out numerous locks throughout the Mississippi lock and dam system (amm.com, June 5). These regions had rainfall totals in excess of 8 to 10 inches, according to the Illinois State Climatologist Office.
"With the newest forecast, it looks like the river will crest Friday but not at a point at which we need to close Lock and Dam 24 (at Clarksville, Mo.)," Mike Petersen, spokesman for the Army Corps St. Louis district, said. "The rough rule of thumb is 21.5 feet at the Louisiana railroad bridge (Champ Clark bridge in Louisiana, Mo.) and that looks like it will remain open. In this district, were not expecting any closures."
This is a change from June 26, when forecasts indicated Lock 24 might have to close.
"Lock and Dam 16 closed June 28 and is expected to reopen July 5," Army Corps district spokesman Allen Marshall told AMM July 3. "Lock and Dam 17 closed June 28 and should reopen July 6. Lock and Dam 18 closed June 30 and is expected to reopen July 4. Lock and Dam 20 closed July 1 and should reopen July 6."