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Heavy rains cause Mississippi River lock, dam closures

Agriculture.com Staff 04/28/2008 @ 1:58pm

Navigation on the upper Mississippi River has been closed due to flooding after storms last week dumped heavy rains on the region.

The Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday morning that three locks and dams in Illinois would be closed until further notice, halting all grain transportation on the river. Lock and dam numbers 13, 16 and 17 in Fulton, Illinois City and New Boston, respectively, are closed after up to a foot of rain and snow fell in parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Other locks in LeClaire, Iowa, Gladstone and Quincy in Illinois, and Saverton and Canton in Missouri are expected to close as well, according to reports. All locks are expected to re-open between May 7 and 10.

The story's a much more dire one further south. Reports on Monday indicated more than 850,000 acres of land may be under water after the Yazoo River, a tributary of the Mississippi, flooded over the weekend. Of that area, around 273,000 acres is farmland, reports indicate.

"Following this rain which has delivered another two inches or more over most of the area we will likely experience another cool period, which is exactly what we do not need," says Kosciusko, Mississippi-based Certified Crop Adviser Ernie Flint. "The statement that I continue to hear from optimistic producers is 'a bad start often leads to a good finish.' This seems like an oxymoron if there ever was one; but oddly enough I have seen this statement come true several times in the past. Let's hope and pray that it comes true again this year."

Navigation on the upper Mississippi River has been closed due to flooding after storms last week dumped heavy rains on the region.

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