PHOTOS: Mississippi River barges slowed in 8" of ice - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

PHOTOS: Mississippi River barges slowed in 8" of ice

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Several barges are nearly stuck in up to 8 inches of ice in the Mississippi River near Dubuque, making it a slow going through the lock and dam.

At least four or five boats north of the Guttenberg Lock and Dam early Thursday struggled to break through the ice.

Lockmaster Marvin Althoff said it's a long and painfully slow process. The ice isn't new, but the timing is causing headaches.

"This is a little more ice than we normally have at this time of year on the river," he said. "As a result, we have a lot more tows up above caught up that are wanting to get out yet."

Althoff said 22 boats were navigating some pretty thick ice -- up to 8 inches thick in some place in the Mississippi River.

"I've seen ice like this or even worse, but it's usually not until the middle of December," he said. "This time, it started at the beginning of November instead of the end of November, so in that way, it's different."

Most of the boats have been working through the night to break through the ice, and he doesn't think many on board those boats have gotten much sleep.

"We don't have much control over Mother Nature," Althoff added. "She still runs the place."

Boats that make it to Clinton should see far less ice on the Mississippi River.
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