The US Coast Guard (USCG) on Tuesday closed a portion of the Upper Mississippi River to all vessel traffic because of high water levels and fast currents near St. Louis, Missouri, according to Reuters.
Barge traffic on sections of the River had already come to a virtual halt because of floodwaters resulting from deadly weather conditions in the US Midwest.
Severe weather events, including heavy rainstorms, blizzards and tornadoes have occurred across several states through which the Mississippi flows. The River had already received an unusual amount of rain for late autumn and the torrential downpours that came at the weekend pushed levels close to a record crest.
The USCG closed the municipal harbour at St Louis and was considering closure of locks and dams in the vicinity.
The storms have caused more than 40 deaths.
Projections by the National Weather Service foretell continued rises in water levels on the river between Tuesday and Thursday with a likely tail-off thereafter.