The U.S. Coast Guard issued
a safety travel advisory for sections of the upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers due to rising water levels near St. Louis. The Coast Guard said barges traveling on the upper-Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois
, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, (mile markers 205.0 to 55.2) and on the Missouri River near St. Louis (mile markers 0.0 to 150.0) were advised to watch for sudden changes in river conditions over the next several days.
Rain over the weekend in the upper Midwest caused water levels in the St. Louis area to rise and they were expected to keep moving up over the next several days. The National Weather Service along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecasted an increase in river levels from 5 to 10 feet over the next 24 to 48 hours. "This is a long way from flood stage," U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Charles Camillo said
. "The rise in water won't affect navigation but it impacts the harbor area -- St. Louis in particular."
"A rise of 5 or 6 feet makes it hard to keep vessels tied off in the harbor," Camillo said. Barges typically load and unload materials in the harbor and use the area to break down the size of tows.
The Army Corps expected water levels to drop as quickly as they rose, which could cause a buildup of sediment on the river bottom. "When that happens, there will be trouble spots and dredging will probably be needed," Camillo said.
Weather Services Corp. (WSC) meteorologist Mike Palmerino said 0.30 to 1.00 inch of moisture fell over the eastern Midwest since the weekend with 2.00 inches of rain in Peoria, Illinois.
WSC forecasts called for light snow in the western Midwest and light rain in the eastern Corn Belt on Tuesday. Mostly dry weather on Wednesday with light rain on Thursday into the weekend. Temperatures were called to stay near to above normal with the highs in the 30s Fahrenheit and the lows mostly in the teens to 20s Fahrenheit. - (Reuters)