The Rhine river remained
closed to barge traffic on Wednesday, but Cologne city officals said movements around the Cologne hub may be resumed in the evening. City officials in Cologne said the water level there currently stood near 849 cm, but was dropping by about one cm an hour. "It may be open (to barge traffic) tonight," a municipal official in charge of water issues said. The level must drop to 830 cm for slow or tug-assisted traffic to pass and to 620 cm for normal flows to resume.
Heavy rains and seasonal snow melting lifted Rhine levels sharply late last week and the heavily-trafficked river threatened to flood several areas in western Germany over
the weekend. German barge traders said they did not expect a full reopening of the river to traffic until the weekend.
Levels at Koblenz fell to 692 cm in the past 24 hours, but remained above the 650 cm threshold for slow barge movements.