Mississippi River traffic halted at St. Louis

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Mississippi River

ST. LOUIS (AP) _Flooding has promoted officials to halt traffic along the Mississippi River at St. Louis, meaning a vital passageway for transporting agricultural products and other goods is temporarily closed.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the Mississippi River to all traffic near St. Louis late Tuesday. The 14.5-mile closure is an inconvenience for barges. But the federal agency says it’s necessary for safety reasons due to high water and a swift current.

The Coast Guard isn’t sure when the river will reopen.

Heavy rain over the weekend caused the Mississippi and smaller rivers to swell. Another 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected in parts of the Midwest through Thursday.