By T. Weber, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – The low levels of the Mississippi River around St. Louis are having an effect on commerce.
The Coast Guard had closed two-mile stretches of the river at St. Louis and Sainte Genevieve because there wasn't enough water to keep boats moving. Those two spots reopened this morning, but five barges have already run aground this week.
A spokesman with the Army Corps of Engineers says the river has frozen in parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which is causing the low levels downstream. He says it's common for the Mississippi's water to go down during the winter, but this year's dips are extreme.