High Water Keeps Tow Boats Stuck - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

High Water Keeps Tow Boats Stuck

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As river levels start to fall, tow boat operators hope to get back moving again.

Barge traffic has stopped on a huge stretch of river as this flood has navigated down the Mississippi.

The Army Corps of Engineers was forced to close locks because of high water.

That left tow boat crews stuck.

"Yeah it costs money, to sit here," says tow boat Deckineer Kendrick Davis.

He has called Mississippi River mile marker 483 home during all this high water.

"Right now, about to be a little over two weeks."

He's still getting paid, but his company's boat isn't.

"'Cause we're not pushing, as long as the boat is moving, the more money you make, when you're sitting still can't make no money cause you getting behind on your destination," says Davis.

Tow boats like Davis' are stuck on a nearly 200 mile stretch of river. It's holding up shipments from lock 14 near LeClaire Iowa, to lock 22 in Saverton, Missouri. High water has forced the locks shut and the towboats to tie up.

"They say probably about Wednesday the water will drop, it's dropping now, but dropping slow, so right now we're just playing it by ear," says Davis.

When they're tied up, the crew does what it can to stay busy.

"Normally just cleaning, we got a little painting to do, pretty much just try to keep the boat clean, the upkeep of the boat," says Davis.

He takes time to enjoy the view too. He says it's pretty here, although he's used to seeing water just in the channel.

"Normally when I'm out here I see mostly land, not water."

Davis' time on the water is nearly up. After 28 days it's his turn to rotate out and take some additional barge handling classes back home, while the rest of the crew tries to make up lost time.

"Can't fight mother nature," says Davis.

They were due in St. Paul, Minnesota a week ago.

Lock and dam 13 in Fulton reopened Saturday and lock and dam 12 near Bellevue reopened on Friday.

All other QCA locks from LeClaire down to Keokuk remain closed.


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