Lake City, MN (KROC-AM News) - It’s become apparent that there will be a late start to this year’s shipping season on the upper Mississippi River. A team from the US Army Corps of Engineers returned to the ice covering Lake Pepin on Wednesday and found a pretty solid chunk of ice still clogging the navigational channel.

The measurements taken by the team showed the ice has disappeared or has thinned significantly in areas north of Lake City, while the south end of the lake remains covered with ice that is over 2 feet thick in many areas. The measurements also showed the mushier and more easily broken up white ice only goes down about 10 inches and the rest is made up of solid blue ice.

The average opening date for the shipping season on the upper Mississippi River falls in the 3rd week of March, which means it’s already a week later than average this year. It’s unlikely the start of the season will have to wait until April 18th, which was what occurred in 2014 and marked the latest start date since 1970.

The Corps of Engineers is planning another round of ice measurements next Wednesday.

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