Mississippi River reopens to limited traffic

The Mississippi River has reopened to shipping from Baton Rouge to its mouth after being closed on Monday as Hurricane Isaac approached.

The Coast Guard was limiting some traffic as a backlog of vessels — including a cruise ship — waited to enter the river about 90 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Authorities said barges had been stranded on the river bank in places because of Isaac's storm surge, which plowed up the river and effectively caused the Mississippi to flow backward until winds shifted to the north and pushed water back into the Gulf of Mexico.

Isaac's rains upriver could bring some relief for the low water problems, though forecasters expect more normal river levels won't return until October.