Portion of Mississippi River restricted after boat sinks

Data shows that the river was flowing at more than double its normal rate for mid-March in Baton Rouge. (Source:WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A portion of the Mississippi River is closed after a towing vessel sank Thursday, March 14.

The Coast Guard says the Michelle Anne, a towing vessel, sank near mile marker 226 at roughly 11:00 a.m. Four people on board were rescued by another tug boat. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Crews are at the scene are searching for the sunken boat A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit is also searching for signs of pollution.

The cause of the crash has not been released. It is unclear at this point whether unusually high and fast-moving water on the Mississippi River was a factor in the sinking.

The river reached its seventh highest crest on record on Monday, near 44 feet, and remained at just under 44 feet as of Wednesday afternoon.

Data also show that the river was flowing at more than double its normal rate for mid-March in Baton Rouge. Torrential rains farther north in recent weeks have been the main source of unusually high water and forecasters warn the Mississippi River is likely to remain quite high for several more weeks due to additional rain and melting snow up north.

The river closure is from mile marker 224.5 to mile marker 226.

This is a developing news story. WAFB is sending a crew to the scene and will update this story when more information is available.

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