Mississippi River set to rise quickly as storms drop rain; excavating moves to Grand Tower

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Storms are expected to cause the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau to rise by approximately 9 feet by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The river gauge reading at Cape Girardeau was just above 6 feet Tuesday -- by Sunday, it is expected to reach 15 feet. Severe storms Tuesday in Southeast Missouri were expected to last into today, dropping large amounts of rain.

As part of ongoing efforts during the last few months to battle low-water levels that have plagued industries that depends on the river, rock removal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will reach Grand Tower, Ill., this week.

Newt Marine Inc. of Dubuque, Iowa, will clear approximately 64 cubic yards of rock from the navigation channel at Grand Tower, 31 miles north of Thebes, Ill., according to a news release issued Tuesday. Nightly channel closures will be in effect from midnight until noon for roughly 10 days.

Travel on the channel has been restricted since Dec. 15 because of rock excavation operations at Thebes. Kokosing Construction of Frederickstown, Ohio, will continue to remove rock formations at Thebes that were discovered under the sediment in the river, extending scheduled work in the area by approximately one week.

"The Grand Tower project will yield permanent improvements to the Mississippi," said Col. Chris Hall, commander of the St. Louis District, in the news release. "Rock removal, along with dredging and water management, is a critical component of the Corps' efforts to maintain a resilient and reliable navigation channel."

Removing the rock formations is one of many operations the corps has initiated along the narrowing river to maintain a 9-foot-deep channel for river navigation. Dredging on the middle of the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., has been ongoing since early July to preserve the channel. There also have been continual surveys and channel patrols by the corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

Pertinent address:

Thebes, Ill.

Grand Tower, Ill.

Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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