DECEMBER 30, 2015 — The Coast Guard says that it has closed a portion of the Illinois River from mile marker 0 to 50, to all traffic, due to hazardous conditions on the final 50 miles of the river, prior to where it joins the Mississippi River.
Capt. Martin Malloy, Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River commander and captain of the port, closed the portion of the river from Hardin, Illinois to Grafton, Illinois due to high water levels.
"Although the weather has been favorable recently, the river levels are still rising from earlier rainfall to the north," said Capt. Malloy. "We are prepared to respond and we've increased our resources in the area. The Coast Guard is working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers, state and local partners and the marine industry to mitigate the effects of this historic flooding event. Our collective priority is public safety."
The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 273 miles long and links Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.
The Coast Guard says that restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve.