Flooding Closes Several Upper Miss Locks

Snowmelt and forecast rain have contributed to a rapid increase in water levels on the Upper Mississippi River. “We will see at least April 2019 flood levels, but chances for April 2001 levels are increasing,” the National Weather Service reported on its Mississippi River Spring Flood Outlook page.

The St. Paul Engineer District closed Lock and Dam 4, near Alma, Wis., to all commercial and recreational traffic on April 17 due to high water levels.

Lock and Dam 3, located in Welch, Minn., was also closed to all navigation April 19. St. Paul Engineer District spokesperson Liz Spoeckmann said the locks are projected to be closed for around a week, but the exact timing of reopening will depend on river levels and when it is safe to resume navigation. Additional closures are possible, depending on river flows.

American Commercial Barge Line reported in its Currents newsletter that it is not running above Meekers Landing, Upper Mississippi River Mile 418, near Burlington, Iowa, due to flooding forecasts on the Upper Miss.

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The National Weather Service updated its flood forecast April 20 to one of moderate flooding or higher over the next seven days, with high chances for major flooding elsewhere along the Mississippi River.

Major level flooding was already forecast at Wabasha, Winona, Trempealeau, La Crosse, and McGregor.