Coast Guard opens Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers

Coast Guard District 8 NewsST. LOUIS — The Coast Guard, in partnership with the Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri reopened the entirety of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers to all vessel traffic on Monday.

Although the river is now open to all vessel traffic, waterway users are cautioned that dangerous water conditions may exist in many areas. Boaters are urged to use caution in and near the river as sustained high water could have modified river bottom conditions and exposed or created unexpected navigation hazards. Due to the high water, many fixed river structures, such as dikes, that are normally above the water are still submerged. Additionally, boaters must be mindful of their wake and operate in a manner that does not cause further damage to levee systems or privately-owned properties, this is especially true in chutes or near levees with known damage.

There are many areas that require extra vigilance and should be avoided by those not familiar with the river. These areas include: the reach from St. Joseph, Missouri to Rulo, Nebraska due to swift currents; and the Boyer Bend, at Mile Marker 633, due to unreliable channel depths and extensive shoaling. All vessels operating in these areas must proceed with extreme caution.

Waterway users should also contact state and local emergency management and law enforcement officials to ensure that boat ramps are open and accessible.

The Coast Guard advises mariners to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any updated information via the Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

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