Early Start For 2023 Upper Mississippi River Shipping Season
Lake City, MN (KROC-AM News) - It may not look like spring outside, but an occurrence this weekend is a sure sign that it is coming soon.
Numerous social media posts showed two river tows pushing barges through Lake Pepin on Saturday, marking the start of the 2023 shipping season on the upper Mississippi River. As of Saturday night, the Neil N. Diehl and the Philip M. Pfeffer were just past Lake City and still pushing through the ice at 1.5 knots.
Late last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported areas of open water on Lake Pepin. The most recent measurements, which were taken on March 6, showed the ice was still more than 20 inches thick in some areas, although nearly half of it was more porous "white ice."
The shipping season is starting early this year. The average date for the first commercial vessel to navigate Lake Pepin each year is March 20th. The earliest start was March 4, which has occurred three times over the past 40 years.
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