Maritime traffic along the Mississippi River in Louisiana is getting back to normal after three ships collided about 60 miles west of New Orleans. The Coast Guard is escorting ships between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
In 1814 it was the British who were "runnin' down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico." Today, ships of almost every nationality are steaming down the river to the Gulf. 54 of them belong to International Shipholding. Their fleet of cargo vessels ply international trade from their current headquarters in Mobile, Alabama but they're set to return soon to their original home in New Orleans.
Starting Friday, the ferry between Canal Street and Algiers Point will be adding more than four hours to weekday schedules.
The Algiers Economic Development Foundation says Veolia Transportation plans to run the ferry from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays. It now runs from 7:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays.
Weekend schedules will remain 10:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Veolia runs the ferries for New Orleans' Regional Transit Authority.
Water levels in the Mississippi River shot up in the past few weeks after a series of strong storms in the Midwest. Flooding has closed roads and bridges and swamped thousands of acres of farmland in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
But, will the flood waters affect us here in Louisiana?
Traffic at the mouth of the Mississippi stopped Friday as coastal Louisiana prepares for a possible strike by Tropical Storm Karen, which is churning in the Gulf of Mexico.
Karen is forecast to hit the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was issued from Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River, including the New Orleans area.
The first Mighty Mississippi Downriver Festival will take place at the French Market and the Old U.S. Mint this Saturday, September 14. Among the many presentations during the day-long event will be one from a man who has plied the mighty Mississippi for 60 years.
On this week's Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks with Captain Clarke Hawley, who has spent most of his working life on board paddlewheel steamboats.
If there is one underlying justification for Louisiana’s $50 billion Master Plan for coastal restoration, it’s this: We actually have a chance to prevent Southeast Louisiana from drowning in the Gulf, because the Mississippi River carries the sediment necessary to keep pace with sea level rise.