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Coast Guard works to keep river open

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The massive recovery effort along the Gulf Coast includes keeping the Mississippi River shipping lane open.

The Coast Guard reports the river is open from St. Paul to New Orleans.

However, coastal ports from Morgan City, Louisiana to Pensacola remain closed.

About 50 personnel from the New Orleans Coast Guard district are now in St. Louis to coordinate recovery operations. Public Information Officer Lieutenant Rob Wyman says the storm has even hit his own team.

"There have been a couple of members on this staff who are still having a hard time tracking down some of their loved ones, Wyman said. A lot of the people that are in this room did lose their homes. We're anxious about those, but at the same time, we know that we've got a job to do.

An unknown number of barges have sunk in the lower Mississippi; however, most have been identified and marked as hazards.