Hastings, MN (KROC-AM News) - The 2020 commercial shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River is officially underway.

The Motor Vessel Miss Doris pushed 12 barges through Lake Pepin yesterday and has nearly reached its destination in South St. Paul. According to the US Army Corp of Engineers, the passage of the first river tow at the Lock and Dam at Hastings signals that all of the locks on the Upper Mississippi are open to both commercial and recreational vessels.

Last year, the shipping season did not get underway until late April, but the latest start to the commercial season occurred in 2011 when it took until May 11th for a commercial vessel to reach Hastings. The earliest start of the shipping season is March 4th, which occurred in 1983,1984, and 2000. The average start date is March 22nd.

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