River reopens after towboat runs aground near Greenville

MISSISSIPPI RIVER — The Mississippi River is open again to traffic after being closed due to a barge grounding.

The towboat Bootsie B ran aground yesterday pushing 13 empty barges and 15 barges loaded with fertilizer and salt. Coast Guard petty officer Ryan Tippets says the grounding happened near Greenville.

Tippets says today that the river is open to all traffic.

Drought has pushed the river to unusually low levels, increasing groundings. Channels are shallower and narrower, presenting problems for barges loaded with coal, grain, iron, steel, sand and gravel. They must reduce loads to avoid bottoming out and take care not to collide when passing another string of barges in a thinner channel.

The river at Greenville is actually rising slightly right now, although it’s predicted to begin falling again Monday.

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