A tow pushes a barge past a sandbar on the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Missouri River north of St. Louis., on Friday. Many sandbars normally under water on the two rivers are now exposed as the drought has caused river levels to drop.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency for Plaquemines Parish as it deals with encroaching salt water that's threatening drinking water in the New Orleans area.
Wednesday's declaration clears the way for state agencies to offer help to the parish as it deals with its water supply issues. The Mississippi River was closed temporarily to shipping traffic as contractors began building an underwater barrier that the Army Corps of Engineers says will stop the advance of salt water.
The Mississippi River has been closed temporarily as contractors placed a pipeline in the Mississippi River to build an underwater barrier that the Army Corps of Engineers says will stop the advance of salt water threatening drinking water in the New Orleans area.
Due to low water levels in the Mississippi River, salt water has been moving far upriver and was at the outskirts of New Orleans by Wednesday, reaching 89 miles north of the mouth of the Mississippi.
Louisiana has so far avoided disastrous drought conditions declared in nearly half the counties in the United States. But southeast Louisiana is starting to feel the effects of a lower Mississippi River.
The Army Corps of Engineers says it will construct an underwater sill in the Mississippi River to stop salt water from threatening drinking water supplies in the New Orleans area.
The move is needed because water levels in the drought-stricken Mississippi have gotten so low that the river is nearly at sea level and this is allowing salt water from the Gulf of Mexico to move far inland.
At the latest check on Monday, salt water was on the outskirts of New Orleans.
A comeback for old-fashioned paddlewheel riverboat travel on the Mississippi River continues in New Orleans this weekend with the departure from New Orleans of the Queen of the Mississippi, a brand new, quintuple-decked vessel mixing 19th century trappings meant to evoke the Mark Twain era with modern amenities including internet access, satellite television, an exercise area and a putting green.
American Cruise Lines has set Saturday as the date for its first seven-night round trip to Vicksburg, Miss.
VIDALIA — The Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District is still feeling the effects of last year's Mississippi River flood.
The Natchez Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/LushVu) that the district board figures for the year that ended June 13 show revenues from hotel taxes totaled $71,000 — a decrease from the $90,000 it collected the previous fiscal year.
With the Mississippi River running at low levels, salt water is moving up from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Times-Picayune reports that denser, heavier saltwater flows upriver beneath fresh water flowing downstream when the river's flow drops below normal. The Army Corps of Engineers says salt water is not yet considered a threat to water supplies in the New Orleans area.
The ferry that carries passengers across the Mississippi from White Castle to Carville ferry has been temporarily docked since June due to a mechanical malfunction, but state transportation officials say it will be shut down permanently by year's end to save $800,000 annually.
It is a plan that U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond hopes the state will reconsider. Richmond has asked Gov. Bobby Jindal to reconsider his proposal to shut down the White Castle and Reserve-Edgard ferries.