Published: May 21, 2011 7:22 PM EDT
Updated: May 21, 2011 7:22 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Out of control barges have added to the challenges of the surging Mississippi River.
    
The barges broke free from a towboat and the swift current carried them into a bridge as America's busiest inland waterway became even more challenging to navigate. The Coast Guard shut down a 5-mile stretch of the river until they could make sure the area was safe.
    
Three barges carrying corn sank and another was taking on water after the vessels got out of control Friday. No injuries were reported and the Coast Guard said there was no damage to the levees.
    
Travis Morace has been running boats on the Mississippi for two decades and says anyone who isn't afraid of the river ought to be, "because it has a lot of ways of hurting you."
    
Debris is everywhere, and the unusually swift current makes it difficult for pilots to go upstream or stop headed downriver.
    

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