Rhine in South Germany Closed to Shipping, May Reopen on Friday

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Parts of the river Rhine in south Germany remained closed to cargo shipping on Thursday after weekend rain in south Germany raised water levels, but the river is falling and could reopen again on Friday, authorities said.

Rhine river shipping is still stopped around Maxau in south Germany, the German inland waterways navigation agency said. The river had been closed to freight shipping over the weekend after heavy rain caused extensive flooding in south Germany.

The high water warning centre in the south German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said the Rhine around Maxau is forecast to reopen to shipping on Friday.

Shipping on northern sections of the river is operating normally, including around the important points of Duisburg, Cologne and Duesseldorf.

High water means vessels do not have enough space to sail under bridges, which prevents vessels from sailing to Switzerland.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products such as heating oil, and grains and animal feed.

The Rhine has repeatedly suffered from low water levels because of unusually dry summers in recent years.

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Source: Reuters