Karl's Feed
Jan 29, 2013

Rock clearing on drought-hit Mississippi River nears completion

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin removing riverbed rock obstructions from the Mississippi River near Grand Tower, Illinois, on Tuesday night in the final phase of a project aimed at keeping the drought-hit shipping artery open to barge traffic.

The river will be closed to navigation daily from midnight until noon between Grand Tower and Thebes, Illinois, 31 miles downriver, where the Corps has been blasting and removing rock pinnacles since mid-December, the Corps said on Tuesday.

Jan 28, 2013

More than 300 barges delayed by Mississippi River closure

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – More than 300 barges were awaiting passage through a closed section of the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Monday, a day after two tanker barges struck a railroad bridge and one leaked an unknown amount of oil into the river.

The river was closed between river mile markers 425 and 441 and a queue of 12 northbound vessels containing 142 barges and 12 southbound vessels containing 162 barges was waiting to pass on Monday morning, Coast Guard spokesman Carlos Vega said.

Jan 23, 2013

Mississippi River barge traffic restored after lock repair

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Commercial shipping traffic on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis was restored late on Tuesday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed emergency repairs to a lock gate damaged by a boat earlier in the day.

Army Corps spokesman Mike Petersen said on Wednesday that 15 barge tows containing 85 barges were waiting to pass through the lock at 9:30 a.m. CST (10.30 a.m. ET). He said a queue of 19 tows containing 142 barges had formed before the lock reopened at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Jan 22, 2013

Mississippi River traffic halted after vessel hits lock

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Commercial shipping traffic on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis was halted on Tuesday after a vessel collided with a gate at Lock 27 near Granite City, Illinois, the system’s busiest lock, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson said.

The accident occurred in the lock’s auxiliary chamber, which had been the only operational lock as the main chamber is closed for scheduled repairs until March.

Jan 10, 2013

Rains will help raise Mississippi River, ease shipper woes

Jan 10 (Reuters) – A storm moving up the Mississippi River
valley will help replenish the river, low in parts from drought,
and ease concerns that shipping could be halted along a shallow
stretch from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois.

Shipping groups had warned as recently as last week of an
effective closure of the river along that busy stretch, through
which billions of dollars of grain, coal, fertilizer and other
commodities flow every year.

Jan 5, 2013

No deal on Illinois pension fix, talks to continue

CHICAGO, Jan 5 (Reuters) – A fix for Illinois’ public
pension crisis remained elusive on Saturday after a meeting
between Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and legislative leaders
failed to produce a deal.

State House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan, a
Democrat, said that it was still possible to reach a deal in
time to be voted on early next week by the Legislature.

Jan 5, 2013

No deal yet on Illinois pension fix: state House speaker

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A fix for Illinois’ public pension crisis remained elusive on Saturday after a meeting between Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and legislative leaders failed to produce a deal.

State House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, said that it was still possible to reach a deal in time to be voted on early next week by the Legislature.

Jan 2, 2013

Mississippi River nears historic lows, shipping at risk

Jan 2 (Reuters) – The drought-drained Mississippi River will
rise slightly later this week between St. Louis and Cairo,
Illinois, but later continue its decline toward historic lows,
according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Low water, due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956, has
already impeded the flow of billions of dollars worth of grain,
coal, fertilizer and other commodities between the central
United States and shipping terminals at the Gulf of Mexico.

Jan 2, 2013

Mississippi River approaching historic lows, shipping at risk

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The drought-drained Mississippi River will rise slightly later this week along a stretch between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois, but will then continue its decline toward historic lows, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Low water due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956 has already impeded the flow of billions of dollars in grain, coal, fertilizer and other commodities between the central United States and export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico.

Dec 18, 2012

Rock clearing begins on drought-hit Mississippi River

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on Tuesday began clearing rocks from a shallow stretch of the drought-hit Mississippi River – its largest such undertaking in at least 25 years – to maintain the flow of billions of dollars’ worth of goods to Gulf Coast ports.

A shipping superhighway that links much of the central United States to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is near record-low levels due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956.