VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Ships and barges on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg have run aground because of the low water level due to the extreme drought conditions.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are using their Dredge Jadwin ship to push out massive sandbars in the Mississippi River. The ship had been carving out an underwater roadblock.
Andy Hall, chief of navigation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the low water level can cause a major financial impact.
“It’s extremely important to the nation’s economy. So, all the commerce that’s on the river has to come through this point right here to get from New Orleans. So, the ships bring New Orleans and then they bring it down. They put it on barges, they bring it up river, and then vice versa. We have grain coming out from upriver, going down river, and it’s all got to come through this point right here. And so without this bridge work, you know, the economy just doesn’t isn’t doing well,” Halle explained.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been operating the 90-year-old Dredge Jadwin ship to help smooth the flow of navigation in the river. Captain Charles Ashley said that no rain has kept the river non-functional.
“Not getting over on just extremely drought throughout the year, all year, and we just end up running to keep the river functional,” Ashley said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopes some predicted rain can increase the level of the river to help increase the navigation flow.