Upper Illinois Rivers Locks Still Closed

Cargo isn't moving yet after floods close the river to barge movement.

The top third of the Illinois River remained closed to downstream locations Tuesday, with the Starved Rocks Lock and Dam near Ottawa, Illinois remaining closed. The lock was closed due to weekend flooding caused by a warm-weather snowmelt combined with near-record rainfall.

The lock will re-open to limited traffic once the upper pool of the river drops below 461.50 feet above sea level. The water level had dropped more than a foot on Monday, but by mid-day Tuesday was still a few inches above that target level.

The U.S. Coast Guard has also issued a safety advisory. That advisory covers more than 75 miles of the upper Mississippi River near St. Louis where water levels are up 1 to 6 feet since early Monday. Shippers have been unable to load cargo recently, which is creating a weakness in the market.

Grain inspections for export are also down 26% this week, according to Dow Jones. That has further depressed demand for transportation capacity.

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