By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Press
GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi River is expected to reopen soon to vessel traffic after crews freed a barge that went aground in low waters caused by an extensive drought.
Coast Guard Capt. William Drelling said Wednesday that authorities would inspect the channel near Greenville, Mississippi, then reset navigation buoys before allowing barge traffic to resume on a limited basis.
The river was closed early Wednesday after the barge went aground, just hours after an 11-mile section of river had been reopened to some traffic.
Drelling said about 100 barge tows were waiting to move through the area south of Memphis, Tenn. All together, about 1,500 barges were stacked up along the river, he said.
Mississippi River closed after barge grounded
NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard says the Mississippi River is closed to shipping again after a barge grounded near Greenville, Miss.
An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi south of Memphis, Tenn., reopened to limited vessel traffic late Tuesday after dredges were able to clear a channel.
Petty Officer Ryan Tippets said crews were working Wednesday to refloat the vessel and allow limited barge traffic to resume. It’s not clear when the river will reopen.
Tippets says 33 northbound vessels were able to pass through the area before the grounding.
Low water is expected to hinder the flow of cargo from the nation’s heartland until October.
A prolonged river shutdown could hamper operations of the busy port upriver from New Orleans that handles U.S. grain for export.