mississippi river

Plaquemines Parish officials say they're prepared to use barges to supply fresh water to processing plants in Port Sulphur, Dalcour and Pointe-a-la-Hache if necessary.

The parish gets its water from the Mississippi River, but that source of water is being threatened by the intrusion of salt water from the Gulf of Mexico due to low river levels.

Besides using barges to ship in fresh water, the parish says it may rely on freshwater piped in from neighboring parishes.

US Army Corps of Engineers

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.

Salt water moves up Miss. River, Army Corps reacts

Aug 7, 2012

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.

Queen of the Mississippi to launch service

Aug 3, 2012

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.

West bank bound lanes on the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish are closed until 5 a.m. on Monday while workers place girders for wider lanes.

State officials are urging motorists to use the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans or the Interstate 310 Bridge in Lulling as alternate crossings of the Mississippi River.

The Huey P. Long Bridge widening project will include three 11-foot lanes in each direction. The total width, including shoulders, will more than double from the current driving surface.

Completion is projected for 2013.

Nature takes a crack at rebuilding marsh

Jul 9, 2012

A small breach on the marsh-covered east bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans is giving rise to calls to let the river run wild.

The debate centers on a 77-foot-wide channel the river carved through a levee road in the unused Bohemia spillway in Plaquemines Parish, about 45 miles south of New Orleans. The breach is outside levees that protect thinly populated communities on the sliver of delta that extends south to form Louisiana's boot.

There's plenty of mud flowing down the Mississippi River and getting washed out into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Now, in a bid to save the threatened delta, the Army Corps of Engineers says it wants to take mud dredged from the shipping channels to build up fragile wetlands.