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.

Chet Overall / It's New Orleans

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.

Port of New Orleans

The Port of New Orleans has completed one of the heaviest cargo lifts in its history.

It moved a 718-ton tower from a ship to a barge.

The absorption tower is bound for a major plant expansion in Donaldsonville.

The 164-foot-long unit arrived at the port January 10 from Shanghai, China. It was moved at the port this week at the Louisiana Avenue wharf.

Port president Gary LaGrange says the operation shows the port’s ability to handle large and complex cargo.

Brian Mensching / Flickr

The mayor of Dubuque, Iowa, says a new fund will help with seed money for sustainable waterfront development in cities and towns along the Mississippi River.

Roy Buol spoke Wednesday as co-chair of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative: mayors of 65 riverfront cities and towns in 10 states. Twenty-five of them are meeting in New Orleans.

American Water, of Voorhees, New Jersey, gave $15,000 to start the fund.


The Coast Guard says a tugboat captain is dead after the arm of a crane struck a bridge and fell back onto the tug's pilothouse.

The accident happened early Thursday morning on the Industrial Canal north of the Mississippi River in New Orleans.

Authorities say the tugboat was pushing a barge with a crane. The crane's arm struck a drawbridge and fell back on the tug. Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally says the drawbridge was open at the time of the accident.

He says the state inspected the bridge and it was reopened to vehicle traffic.

bdearth / Flickr

The Mississippi River in Louisiana has reopened to vessel traffic after an oil spill. Mariners are asked to report any oil spotted along the river.

The Coast Guard says more than 31,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a barge that collided with a towboat Saturday. Just over 1,000 gallons of an oily water mix have been recovered.

River traffic between New Orleans and Baton Rouge was blocked, leaving vessels stuck in traffic.

Petty Officer Matthew Schofield says mariners are asked to help locate any oil in the river.

bdearth / Flickr

About 65 miles of the Mississippi River in Louisiana remains closed because of an oil spill, meaning shipping near the site is at a standstill.

Port of New Orleans

A week after telling President Obama what the Port of New Orleans needs to succeed, Port President Gary LaGrange told maritime interests that its future is bright. The port is zeroing in on the White House direction to boost exports.

Erin Krall / WWNO

The Port of New Orleans says workers are preparing for Tropical Storm Karen, but cargo operations are continuing uninterrupted, despite the closure of Southwest Pass at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

However, Carnival Cruise Line ships scheduled to arrive at the port this weekend may be delayed until Monday, the port and the cruise company are saying. Guests aboard the Carnival Elation and the Carnival Conquest are being kept apprised of the storm, and both vessels are said to be sailing a safe distance from the storm.

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.