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U.S. Coast Guard warns boaters to stay off the river

The U.S. Coast Guard is warning recreational boaters to stay off the river.

The Guard shut down all river traffic on the Mississippi River in St. Louis Tuesday because city officials closed 23 flood walls.

High water is dangerous on the Illinois and Missouri rivers as well.

Officials said high waters aren’t only dangerous, but make water rescues difficult.

“It is not a good time to be on the river. There are high currents, there is a lot of drift, most of the boat ramps are probably under water right now anyway,” U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Chief Ryan Christiensen said.

At Cooper’s Landing Marina near Columbia, boaters would have a hard time even getting to the Missouri River.

Water is still standing in some areas.

However, roads without water are covered in almost four inches of mud.

The mud with the river level and fast currents make recreational boating and camping near the Missouri River is dangerous.

Flood waters not only kept boaters at bay, but shut down all business at Cooper’s Landing for four days.

Employees moved everything out of the flooded building.

Even though it’s expected to open again this weekend, they say boating and camping are still out of the question for a while.

“Once all this mud goes down and it’s washed away, then people will be able to launch their boats and camp on the campgrounds, so I’m thinking probably three weeks or four weeks,” Cooper’s Landing employee told ABC 17 News.

Employees also said to be very cautious anywhere on the river until the levels go down.

The river levels are expected to go down this week, but the Coast Guard emphasized that it’s difficult to make rescues with current river conditions.

They said to hold off on all river recreation.

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