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Crews finish clearing log jam on Mississippi, locks reopened

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After days of removing trees and debris, crews have cleared a massive log jam on the Mississippi River near the Wabasha bridge in St. Paul.

That's what KSTP-TV is reporting, some four days after the problem became apparent.

A crew hired by the City of St. Paul began working Friday morning, according to Channel 5, using a barge with an excavator on it to scoop the debris out of the river. The work wrapped up Saturday, reports the station.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says last week's storm is one of the main causes of the jam because the winds knocked down trees near the river, according to KSTP.

The DNR also says dead trees aren't removed from the bluffs near the Mississippi often because of the bluffs' height and steepness – add to all that some high water, and you've got trouble right here in River City.

KSTP notes the cleanup will cost between $15,000 to $25,000, which of course is already a source of contention. The city wanted the St. Paul Yacht club to share in the expense, but the owner balked.

As the Star Tribune reports, several jurisdictions share responsibility for the Mississippi, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Ramsey County.

KARE 11 is reporting Saturday evening, in not entirely unrelated news, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reopened its three Minneapolis locks to recreation traffic. The locks were closed two weeks ago when flows on the Mississippi River exceeded 30,000 cubic feet per second, an automatic closure threshold.

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