High water affecting river navigation

Heavy rainfall, from the middle to Lower Mississippi River Valley eastward across much of the Ohio River Basin, has resulted in widespread river flooding along Cincinnati, Cairo, Ill., Memphis, Tenn., and other locations, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

High water has caused navigation disruptions on sections of the Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, and Arkansas rivers. In response, the Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District closed the Markland Locks, McAlpine Locks, and Smithland Locks on the Ohio River. In addition, large volumes of water from the aforementioned rivers are flowing into the Mississippi River and causing its lower portion to reach flood stage at multiple locations, the USDA reported in its weekly Grain Transportation Report (GTR).

Barge tow sizes have been reduced from 40 to 30 barges on the Lower Mississippi River, and will likely be restricted for several weeks. Barge traffic is also restricted to daylight passage at Vicksburg, Miss., and Memphis, according to GTR. River restrictions are set by the Waterway Action Plan, a joint effort of the Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers, and the towing industry.

About the author

David Krapf

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

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