Flood-swollen Mississippi River closed to shipping at St. Louis: U.S. Coast Guard

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard said it has closed the Mississippi River near St. Louis to boat and barge traffic on Friday due to flooding and strong currents on the major shipping waterway following excessive rains and heavy snow melt this spring.

The river - a key transportation artery for shipments of grain, agricultural chemicals, energy products and other commodities - is closed from river mile marker 179 to 184, said U.S. Coast Guard public affairs officer Brandon Giles.

(Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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