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Towboats still creeping through trouble spot on Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — Shipping is being allowed to move slowly through a stretch of the Mississippi River near Greenville that has been a trouble spot as low water caused by drought exposes sand and mud bars.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Tippets said today barges are being allowed to proceed south with northbound traffic expected to move later.

He said 29 barge tows were waiting to head south, and 34 were in line to go north.

The river was reopened near Greenville yesterday after a grounded barge was refloated. The waterway has been closed several times in August because of sand and mud blockages.

Dredging crews are active along the river in several states trying to keep a navigable channel open.

Weather forecasters say the Mississippi could remain low until October.

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