Thursday, June 14, 2001

High water strands Queen in Ky.

The Associated Press

        PADUCAH — High waters in the Mississippi River caused the American Queen to make an unscheduled stop in this western Kentucky town Tuesday, and to return Wednesday.

        The paddle-wheeler left Paducah Tuesday, went to Cape Girardeau, Mo., turned around and came back.

        “It's the same people,” said Mary Hammond, executive director of the Paducah-McCracken County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “All they did was go to Cape Girardeau and come back. The water is high, and they couldn't get under the bridge (at St. Louis). Plus, they have to have the repairs made. The repairs will be made here.”

        One of the boat's port engines was damaged when it struck a tree in the lower Mississippi River on Tuesday.

        The excursion vessel is owned by the New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Co.

        The Mississippi at Cape Girardeau crested at 38 feet Tuesday morning, while the Ohio at Cairo, Ill., crested a foot above flood stage at 41 feet Tuesday afternoon.

        Ms. Hammond said the boat's passengers will be bused to St. Louis this morning. New passengers, arriving in St. Louis, will be bused to Paducah. The boat, which carries 436 passengers and 161 crew members, will leave Paducah on Friday.


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