Thick ice delays shipping on Mississippi River

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- Some Mississippi River shipping ports remain closed with a record amount of ice lingering longer than usual.

Ice on Lake Pepin is reportedly the last major obstacle for ships headed to Minneapolis. But the lake is still coated with more than 2 feet of ice.

That's nearly double the average and the most since the Army Corps of Engineers began measuring the ice in 1998. Ships that typically pass through the area by this time are still much further south, in Iowa.

Ports in Dubuque, Iowa, also are reporting ice much thicker than normal.

The delayed thaw means some construction companies have had to make other plans for sending materials through the Midwest.

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