Contractor removing debris from Mississippi logjam

Backhoe removing debris.

A contractor worked Friday to remove tree trunks and large branches causing a logjam on the Mississippi River at Raspberry Island in St. Paul.

A backhoe supported by a barge picked up the debris and loaded it onto another barge. The work was about halfway complete by midday Friday, said city spokesman Joe Campbell.

Many of the floating branches and debris were left by the recent storms. High water prevented crews from tackling the logjam earlier, and debris continued to pile up, Campbell said.

After several days without rain, water levels have dropped. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday reopened three Minneapolis locks that had been closed since June 24, when water flows on the Mississippi were measured at more than 30,000 cubic feet per second.