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 July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Hapag-Lloyd Adds Halmstad to Rotation

As one of the top global carriers Hapag-Lloyd offers a comprehensive service network and will add port of Halmstad, Sweden to the Nordic Short Sea Network. As

BBC Chartering Opens Vietnam Office

BBC Chartering announces the opening of a new representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, starting August 1st breakbulk, and general cargo transportation

Fratelli Neri Orders Damen Tug

One of the largest Italian tug owners, Fratelli Neri S.p.A, ordered its first Damen tug, an ASD 3212, on 21 July 2015.   The vessel will be the first ASD tug

Navigation

Optimized Tug-Barge System Designs by Robert Allan

Optimized Tug-Barge System Designs by Robert Allan Ltd. by David R. Connand Robert G. Allan, P.Eng. Some veteran Mississippi pushboats and barges have been

Google Maps Goes Coastal with Unmanned Boat

A new high-tech unmanned vessel, launched with the help of Google, will use innovative technologies from the boatbuilding and mapping fields to map shorelines and

Korean Registry Okays Transas ECDIS

Transas, one of the world's leading providers of integrated navigation solutions, received ECDIS type-approval from the Korean Registry (Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute),

Finance

Diana Shipping Nets 2Q Loss

Diana Shipping Inc. today reported a net loss of $14.1 million and net loss attributed to common stockholders of $15.5 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to net loss of $5.

U.S. Drillers Add Rigs Despite Crude Collapse

U.S. energy firms added 5 oil rigs this week after putting 21 rigs into service last week, the most in over a year, despite a collapse in U.S. crude prices from recent highs in June,

DryShips Reaches Agreement with Ocean Rig

DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), a global provider of marine transportation services for drybulk and petroleum cargoes, and through its subsidiary, Ocean Rig UDW Inc.

Maritime Safety

On USCG Anniversary, Gov. McAuliffe Urges Hurricane Preparedness

Gov. Terry McAuliffe encouraged Virginians to get ready for hurricane season and provided an update on the commonwealth’s preparations Friday at a press conference

South China Sea Hotline in the Works

China and Southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up a foreign ministers' hotline to tackle emergencies in the disputed South China Sea, a senior official of

Three Rescued on Lake Tahoe

The Coast Guard and multiple agencies rescued three people Wednesday evening after they were reported missing on Lake Tahoe. At 9:45 p.m., Coast Guard Sector

Government Update

Thordon Bearings Secures AK Ferry Contract

Thordon Bearings has received an order to supply its COMPAC system to two Alaska Ferry newbuilds under construction at the Vigor Industrial shipyard in Ketchikan, Alaska.

West Africa's August Crude Exports to Asia to Slip

West African crude oil exports to Asia were expected to fall to 1.84 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, Reuters data and a survey of traders showed.     Slower

DHS, Postal Service to Dedicate USCG Forever Stamp

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Postal Service leaders are scheduled to dedicate the United States Coast Guard Forever stamp during a ceremony Tuesday at Coast Guard Headquarters.

Logistics

Optimized Tug-Barge System Designs by Robert Allan

Optimized Tug-Barge System Designs by Robert Allan Ltd. by David R. Connand Robert G. Allan, P.Eng. Some veteran Mississippi pushboats and barges have been

WKCTC to Host Open House for ILM Institute

West Kentucky Community and Technical College will host an open house and ribbon cutting for the Inland Logistics and Marine Institute August 10 from 4 ­– 6 p.

U.S. Drillers Add Rigs Despite Crude Collapse

U.S. energy firms added 5 oil rigs this week after putting 21 rigs into service last week, the most in over a year, despite a collapse in U.S. crude prices from recent highs in June,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1856 sec (5 req/sec)