With the near record low barge rates, the barge industry is looking for some good news. The rivergage forecast for Lock and Dam 15 (Rock Island, Illinois) is expected to reach 11 feet on March 10, but still well below the 15-foot flood level. With the warmer than normal weather, the Upper Mississippi River might open earlier than usual. American Commercial Lines views the chances of spring flooding as greater than 50% stating, “Spring flooding could play a major role in when we are able to navigate the Upper Mississippi River above St. Louis. Per the 2020 Spring Flood Outlook Report (provided by NWS Quad Cities), there is a greater than 50% chance of major flooding on the Mississippi above St. Louis. If flooding occurs and the opening is delayed, barges arriving at Cairo and/or St. Louis will be charged for demurrage until conditions allow transit.” The 50% chance is the long-term forecast. The latest six-day weather forecasts suggest an early opening as shown below, which would free up much-needed cargo, especially agricultural crops and products. For reference, a chart is provided comparing water levels in 2019 to 2020.