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Dredging ends on stretch of Mississippi River

Feb 06, 2013 -- 10:28am

 

Southeast Missourian

Dredging operations by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along the Mississippi River between Cairo, Ill., and St. Louis have stopped for the season.

The dredges Hurley, based in Memphis, Tenn., and Potter, based in St. Louis, have been called home for seasonal maintenance and leave for their crews, the corps said in a news release Tuesday.

The dredging season usually ends in early November, but it was extended to help keep the shipping channel open during low-water levels. River levels have rebounded after hitting extreme lows earlier this winter. The Mississippi was at about 14.5 feet on the Cape Girardeau gauge Tuesday afternoon and was expected to decrease slowly to a little more than 12 feet by early Sunday.

Hurley and Potter dredged more than 8 million cubic yards of sediment in the last six months, according to the corps, more than twice the amount in an average, non-drought year.

Low water also required the removal of rock formations at Thebes, Ill., and Grand Tower, Ill. That work is temporarily suspended while river levels remain high. Work could resume as early as Thursday, the corps news release said.

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