Corps recommends caution on newly reopened Missouri River

Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published June 14, 2019

With the U.S. Coast Guard issuing Marine Safety Bulletin – MISB #01-19, Update #11 – opening the Missouri River for navigation from the mouth at St. Louis to Sioux City, Iowa – the Kansas City District urges caution to both commercial and recreational boaters. The Coast Guard recommends against boating in these conditions with the river still in moderate to major flood stages.

River users, both commercial navigators and recreational operators, need to be aware of the increased risks as the river returns to lower levels within its banks.

The Missouri River Channel is established, managed, and maintained by a series of dikes and revetments. These structures are designed to work most effectively at river levels where water is within the bank lines.

When river levels go out of bank, the navigation channel can develop sand bars, drift, snags or other unexpected channel conditions. These higher river conditions increase the risks when navigating. As the river levels decrease, the performance of the river structures improves, allowing the channel to return to a more predictable and safer condition.

The transition from higher level river conditions to in-bank conditions is not immediate. River users need to be aware of this recovery time as they plan travel on the river.

USACE channel recon and survey teams review channel conditions during this transition in river conditions. Findings from these reviews are provided through normal communication channels.

The Kansas City District is a team of dedicated professionals with a strong heritage and proven results who, in collaboration with our partners, proudly serve in the Heartland providing leadership, technical excellence, and innovative solutions to the nation's most complex problems.

Kansas City District Public Affairs
Kansas City, Mo.

Release no. 19-038