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Sediment Shuts Down Mississippi River At St. Louis

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – Barge traffic on the Mississippi River is at a standstill in both directions near St. Louis as crews scramble to clear sediment that’s clogging the waterway.

Barges were lined up in a holding pattern near downtown St. Louis at midday Friday. They were expected to spend the night there as dredging efforts continued.

Mike Petersen of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says that sediment clearing would be suspended Saturday long enough for the cargo-loaded vessels to clear.

The buildup of sediment is being blamed on strong crosscurrents caused by various accidents on the river in recent days, including one involving a tugboat pushed into the riverbank on the Illinois side.

Petersen says those currents also complicate dredging.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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