The Coast Guard plans to assess conditions on the Mississippi River beginning shortly after dawn Thursday to determine when the river can reopen to shipping.
Port of New Orleans officials say the river could reopen by the weekend. The river was closed on Monday ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Authorities say nine cargo ships are waiting to enter the river and the cruise ship Carnival Elation is due to arrive on Thursday.
Port president Gary LaGrange says the cruise ship is the top priority when ships are allowed to enter the river.
All port employees are expected to report to work on Thursday.