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Corps of Engineers closes Minneapolis locks to commercial traffic for the fourth time this season

Published June 16, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, closed its three Minneapolis locks to commercial navigation today, June 16, due to high flows after recent rain events across the basin.

This is the fourth time this season that the three Minneapolis locks – Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and dams and Lock and Dam 1 – have been closed to commercial navigation because flows exceeded 40,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs.

The locks were most recently reopened to commercial traffic June 11, but they have remained closed to recreation boaters since June 2, when flows exceeded 30,000 cfs.

The Corps is encouraging boaters to use caution and be vigilant when boating in the area, because the Mississippi River currents are high. Submerged logs and debris below the water’s surface can damage water craft and injure passengers. The Corps is also reminding everyone to always wear your life vest, as events can happen quickly. 

According to the Corps' Mississippi Valley Division lock and dam regulation manual, the district is required to close the lock and dams to recreational traffic at 30,000 cfs because the high flows are unsafe. Commercial traffic at these locks is shut down at 40,000 cfs.

The nearly 650 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.

 

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Release no. 14-055