ST. PAUL, Minn. –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, closed the three Twin Cities lock and dams to commercial traffic last night due to increasing high water flows in the Mississippi River.
The Corps closed the locks to recreational boats Monday morning.
The Upper St. Anthony Falls and Lower St. Anthony Falls lock and dams in downtown Minneapolis, and Lock and Dam 1 next to Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis were closed to commercial traffic around 8 p.m., when flows passed 40,000 cubic feet per second or cfs. Based on National Weather Service forecasts, it could be until around June 8 before flows are below 40,000 cfs and the upper three locks are once again open to commercial traffic. The locks will be closed to recreational traffic until flows are below 30,000 cfs.
According to the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division lock and dam regulation manual, the district is required to close the lock and dams because the high flows are unsafe for commercial boat navigation at 40,000 cfs and unsafe for recreational boat navigation at 30,000 cfs. Heavy rains last week contributed to the increase in water.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, serves the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. It contributes around $181 million to the five-state district economy. The 700 employees work at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
Release no. 12-054