Barges stuck in heavy ice on Illinois river

By Beau Ebenezer

February 27, 2014 Updated Feb 27, 2014 at 10:38 AM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- Goods traveling down the Illinois River have come to a stand-still at many locations due to heavy ice accumulation.

Barges had trouble getting past ice near the McClugage Bridge in Peoria and in parts of Chillicothe.

Tows boats spent hours trying to cut paths for the barges Wednesday evening.

A Chillicothe business owner said he has never seen this much ice accumulation in his 17 years on the river.

"I mean the barges have been bogged down by the ice, but never as long as it took them to pass through this time," said Bananas Bar owner Richard Bush. "I think it has a lot to do with the extra amount of snow that we have and the extremely cold weather that we have been getting."

Local barge companies said they have experienced a large number of delays due to the ice.

One company saw 11 of its tow boats get stuck in ice over the last week.

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