Lake Pepin, MN (KROC-AM News) - If you’re among the many desperate Minnesotans searching for a sign of Spring, you’re in luck.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reporting Motor Vessel Michael Poindexter is pushing barges through the ice still covering the southern end of Lake Pepin tonight in an attempt to open the 2018 shipping season on the Upper Mississippi River.

As of 10 p.m., the Michael Poindexter and its barges were already only a couple miles south of Lake City in an area of the lake where a team from the Corps of Engineers measured the ice at almost two feet thick last week. If all goes well, the river tow could arrive in St. Paul Wednesday morning, which would make this one of the latest starts for the navigation season in the Corps of Engineers St. Paul District in almost 50 years.

Last year, the shipping season opened very early on March 7th. The latest start since record keeping began in 1969 was April 18th in 1970.

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