Sandbars Ground Barges in Upper Mississippi River
WABASHA, Minn. (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working on dredging parts of the Mississippi River in Minnesota to allow dozens of barges to pass by unprecedented levels of sand resulting from recent flooding.
The sandbars have halted barge traffic on the river from Winona to Red Wing, leaving more than a dozen towboats and nearly 200 scheduled barges unable to pass because heavy flooding in June washed soil into the river.
The Corps' channel maintenance coordinator Dan Cottrell says they work on dredging every year, but have never seen it this bad. Cottrell tells reporters parts of the river have been impassable since July 19.
Cottrell says it affects the bottom line for the barge companies. A single towboat pushing 15 barges can carry the same load as 870 semis.