USACE Revises Forecast for Mississippi Water Levels

press release
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.

Effective Shutdown of Nation’s Busiest Water Transportation Artery Expected Earlier Than Predicted: January 3-4. 

 

Late Christmas Eve, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advised industry of the most current 28-day weather and water forecast for the Mississippi River area near Thebes, Illinois, south of St. Louis, where rock pinnacle removal work is taking place.  The forecast suggests that commerce on the Mississippi River could come to an effective halt earlier than expected in the New Year, around January 3 or 4.  Earlier forecasts had suggested that the congressionally authorized nine-foot navigation channel could remain in operation until perhaps the middle of January.
 

The latest forecast calls for the Mississippi River gauge at Thebes to be at 3 feet and falling on or around January 3-4, with vessel drafts limited to 8 feet. The forecast for the river gauge to reach to 2 feet and falling will be on or around January 12-13, allowing only a 7-foot maximum vessel draft. It is estimated that the river will reach a reading of 1 foot and falling on or around January 19, which equates to 6 feet of navigable depth. The majority of towboats require a 9-foot draft to operate and only a very small number of towing vessels can operate at 8- or 7-foot drafts.
 

Stakeholders continue to urge the Administration to release a minimal amount of water from the Missouri River reservoirs (4,000 cfs or 1% of current storage in the reservoir system) to avert this effective shutdown of the Mississippi River to barge transportation. While the Corps and the Coast Guard have said that they have no plans to close the river, this latest forecast and falling water levels will preclude navigation because towboats will be unable to transit the “bottleneck reach” between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.

 

“The Corps’ rock pinnacle removal and dredging work and our collective prayers for rain have not produced enough water to sustain navigation on the Mississippi River and so the Administration must act to avert a closure,” said Michael J. Toohey, President & CEO, Waterways Council, Inc.  “We have been urging action all along and the time is now to release needed water or we will have run out of time on this national crisis,” he continued.  

 

“The nation’s shippers, farmers, manufacturers and operators have been feeling the impacts of this emergency, with cancelled orders, lost exports to market, and higher prices to consumers, but unless water is provided now to avert a shutdown, those impacts will increase significantly.  Unless the Administration takes action now, the nation risks 60 days or more without waterborne commerce on the mid-Mississippi River,” said Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, American Waterways Operators.  “We urge the White House to authorize the release of additional water immediately to maintain navigation on our country’s busiest and most important waterway.”

 

This potential supply-chain disruption could amount to a staggering loss for the U.S. economy, affecting nearly 20,000 jobs and $130 million in wages in Mississippi River states as well as $7 billion in commodities in December and January alone, including:

 

• Over 7 million tons of agricultural products worth $2.3 billion;
• Over 1.7 million tons of chemical products worth $1.8 billion;
• 1.3 million tons of petroleum products worth over $1.3 billion;
• Over 700,000 tons of crude oil worth $534 million; and,
• 3.8 million tons of coal worth $192 million.

 

“Thousands of the nation’s farmers, shippers, manufacturers and towboat operators urge action from President Obama to direct the Corps to release a small amount of water from Missouri River reservoirs over a short period of time to keep businesses open, exports and cargo moving, and Americans employed,” Toohey and Allegretti concluded.
 

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Homecoming Scotland 2014 Fireball Championships

Lerwick Harbour is ready for an exciting week of sailing with the 2014 Fireball European Championships taking place at the port next week. As a warm-up to the main event,

Iraqi Kurdish Oil Nears US Port Despite Concern in Washington

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is just one day away from arriving at a U.S. port, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington's

Phillips 66 Marine Fueling Facility Nears Completion

Phillips 66’s previously announced marine over-the-water fueling facility at its Richmond, Calif. terminal is nearing completion. The facility, located on Canal Boulevard, and known as Pier No.

Navigation

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

More VDR Orders for Danelec in China

Danelec Marine has received orders to supply Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs) and Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS) for 18 offshore support vessels in China.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Finance

Canal Project Slows Panama Economy Growth

Panama's economy expanded in May at its slowest pace since 2009 as major public works projects, including an expansion of the Panama Canal, slowed or wrapped up,

Gas Prices Help Offset Statoil's Output Drop

Statoil's second quarter 2014 net operating income was NOK 32 billion, a decrease of NOK 2.3 billion compared to the second quarter of 2013. Adjusted earnings were NOK 32.

Asia VLCC Rates Could Nudge Higher on Activity

Rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) on key Asian freight routes could hold steady or gain next week as charterers seek to complete their vessel chartering

Barges

Horizon Delivers 4th 74’ Towboat for Canal Barge Co.

Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, AL, has delivered the fourth in a series of 74’ towboats to Canal Barge Company, Inc. of New Orleans, LA.    The

Samudra Containership Rationalisation Hits Revenues

Diversified Singapore-based containership owners Samudra Group reports registered revenue of USD 96.9 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2014, a 7.6% decline from USD 104.

Nation’s Vessel Operators Join EPA as SmartWay Affiliate

The American Waterways Operators, a 350-member trade association representing the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, announced today that it joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership,

Maritime Safety

Eliminating Cat Fines to Marine Diesel Engines

One can assume that P&I Clubs and shipowners would be very interested in preventing catastrophic Cat Fines damage to diesel engines. Cat Fines have been damaging

MOL Commended with Quality Ship Awards

MOL Commended for ‘FY2013 Best Quality Ship Award’; MOL president Koichi Muto meets with captain and chief engineer, exchanging views and working to establish a more solid safe operation system.

Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown

Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members.

Government Update

Cause of S.Korea Ferry Businessman's Death Remains Unknown

Yoo's body too badly decomposed to determine cause of death; mystery surrounding final days of de-factor owner of doomed ferry deepens. Yoo's son arrested in latest capture of family members.

UK Chancellor Mentions Hi-Tech Tax Breaks on Bibby Offshore Visit

Bibby Offshore, subsea services provider to the oil & gas industry, says it has hosted a visit by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to the Company’s workshop,

House Subcommittee Hearing Highlights “Dismal State” of U.S. Icebreaking Capability

At the July 23, 2014, hearing of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” the committee chairman, Rep.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1866 sec (5 req/sec)