The upper Mississippi River should be reopened to traffic late this afternoon from Minnesota’s Lock and Dam Eight north to St. Paul. It’s been closed due to flooding for weeks. A U-S Coast Guard official says the river should be open in parts of far northeastern Iowa within 24 to 36 hours.Commander Adolfo Ramirez, of the St. Louis Coast Guard office, says the river may also be opened from Lock and Dam Ten north — that facility is at Guttenberg, Iowa. As far as the other portions of the Muddy Miss, Ramirez says they’re still off limits and may be for a while as he says the river isn’t dropping as fast as they’d like it to, so it may be another week before recreational and commercial river traffic is allowed past Dubuque, Clinton, Davenport, Muscatine, Burlington and Keokuk. Ramirez says the concern is -not- necessarily the safety of boaters.It’s the wake from the boats that would slam against the embankments, causing a break in the levees and earthen dams. The river was closed from Minneapolis to Muscatine on April 14th. The closure was extended 83 miles downstream through Keokuk on April 27th. Boaters who violate the order face civil penalties up to 25-thousand dollars.
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