The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard have declared the entire Missouri River and Big Sioux River open to vessel traffic. The rivers had been closed several months during the spring and summer flooding.
The news comes with a warning. Dangerous water conditions may exist in many areas of the rivers. Boaters are urged to use caution because the sustained flooding may have modified river bottoms. Navigation hazards may have also been created or exposed by the flooding. Also, many fixed river structures such as dikes that are normally above the water are still submerged.
The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers are also advising boaters to be mindful that their wake could cause further damage to the levee systems.
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