January 8, 2018 / 7:10 AM / in 2 years

Rhine river in Germany closed to shipping as water rises

A sculpture and a park bench are flooded by the river Rhine as the town of Linz is seen in the background, Germany, January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

HAMBURG (Reuters) - The Rhine river in Germany was closed to shipping on Monday after water levels rose following rain, the German inland navigation authority said on Monday.

The river is closed between the German cities of Duisburg and Koblenz, the authority said, preventing sailings to and from Switzerland.

The high water means vessels would not have enough space to sail under bridges that cross the waterway.

The river is expected to crest to its highest point on Monday or Tuesday after which drier weather is expected to cause water levels to fall, the authority said.

The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including minerals, coal and oil products, such as heating oil, as well as grains and animal feed.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Edmund Blair

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