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The U.S. Coast Guard opened a section of the Mississippi River to traffic following an inspection after vessel groundings because of shallow water.
Southbound traffic was allowed on the 11-mile stretch of the river between mile markers 524 and 535 near Greenville, Mississippi, Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets, a New Orleans-based public affairs officer for the Coast Guard, said in a telephone interview.
About 40 vessels moved overnight, leaving 29 southbound and 36 northbound awaiting passage, he said. Northbound ships will be allowed after southbound traffic clears and inspections of the river are finished, Tippets said.
Drought across the Midwest has left the Mississippi River system, which includes the Ohio and Missouri rivers, with low water levels that have impeded and delayed barge traffic.
At least two groundings occurred this week in the area that was closed, Tippets said.
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