Mother Nature is partly to blame for a massive traffic jam on the Mississippi River, where the Army Corps of Engineers are hoping to finish repairs to get things moving again.

FOX News Radio's Jennifer Keiper reports:

More than 40 vessels and 230 barges are stuck on the Mississippi River.

(Lt. Fogarty) "It's like trying to find a parking spot at the mall on Christmas Eve."

They can't go anywhere because of emergency repairs being done to a river lock north of St. Louis.  A barge hit a protection cell last week.

(Official) "It's like a big bumper for the tows.  When they're lining up to get in the lock chamber, they can glance off of that, and it's made for them to rub on."

But, because the Mississippi is so low, the barge hit below the protection barrier.  Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty:

(Lt. Fogarty) "The Mississippi River is one of the most crucial waterways within the United States."

And a lot of goods are shipped along the Mississippi, including almost 50% of the country's farm exports.

Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.