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Missouri River closed to recreational boating

The Coast Guard has closed the rising Missouri River to recreational boating from the St. Louis area to Sioux City, Iowa.

In a statement last Friday night, the Coast Guard said the closure is in effect from mile marker zero — where the Missouri meets the Mississippi — to mile marker 734, at the confluence with the Big Sioux River in Iowa.

The Coast Guard says commercial vessels on the Missouri have ceased operations voluntarily. Coast Guard Capt. Steve Hudson says the decision to close the river to recreational vessels was made to ensure the safety of the boating public.

The closing will remain in effect until water levels decrease. That's not expected to happen soon, as the Army Corps of Engineers continues increasing the amount of water being released from swollen reservoirs upstream.

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