Very warm temperatures might have been welcome at first over the weekend in Illinois, but by the time the snow started melting and the rains started to fall, flooding became a big concern. As the flooding unfolded, two locks on the Illinois River closed, slowing movement on the Upper Mississippi River.
Water levels at the Starved Rocks area, near Ottawa, rose nearly 3-1/2 feet during in a 24 hour period. The Marseilles Lock and dam, near Marseilles, was also closed Monday. In addition, according to a Dow Jones report, ice conditions along the Upper Mississippi River were impacting mariners. Some 750 miles of the river had ice condition issues.
These events delayed barge transit for more than 18 hours at some locks just north of St. Louis. The Illinois and MississippiRivers represent an important transportation corridor for interior freight to and from the Gulf of Mexico.