May 1 - According to reports in the international media, a northern stretch of the Illinois river - a key artery for connecting export terminals in the Gulf of Mexico, USA - is expected to remain closed for several weeks.

A 144 mile (231.75 km) stretch from Florence to Lacon, Illinois, remains closed to all traffic due to record flooding.

Damage to the Marseilles lock and dam in northern Illinois suggest that a portion of the waterway may remain closed for some time after the floodwaters subside. It is reported that five of the lock's eight gates are unable to fully close and that two have sustained 15 ft (4.6 m) holes. The damage was caused when several barges broke free from tow in swollen currents and struck the dam.

The US Army Corp of Engineers is working to repair the damage.