What is in this article?:
- Arkansas farmers burn diesel, daylight to get in crops before Isaac
- Low water closes ports
- Isaac’s rain may help or hurt
- Arkansas farmers in “rush before the storm” to get crops out of field.
- Low water in Mississippi shuts some ports.
- Rain could help Mississippi, depending on where, how much and how long it falls.
Low water closes ports
While crops are being rushed to the elevators, some of grain already there can’t move because low water in the Mississippi has shut down the port. On Tuesday, Osceola Port Terminal in Mississippi Co., Helena Harbor, Phillips County Harbor, as well as the port in New Madrid County, Mo., and Northwest Tennessee Regional Harbor, were all closed. Osceola is taking grain. It just can’t ship any out.
“Osceola is closed due to shallow water,” said Bob Anderson, chief of public affairs for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley Division. “We should have a dredge there in late September.”
The good news is that the difficult 11-mile stretch near Greenville, Miss., that was shut to traffic last week remains open. “We have a 9-foot deep, 300-foot wide channel all the way from Cairo to the Gulf,” he said.
The Kerr-McClelland System on the Arkansas River isn’t subject to the same issues as the Mississippi due to its lock and dam system, said Laurie DrIver, spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock.
The only change for the system has been at Montgomery Point where the Arkansas, White and Mississippi converge. The lock structure there is different from any other in the Arkansas River system. Its unique design is meant to fix seasonal low-water issues when the Mississippi’s level drops.
Its gates usually sit on the bottom of the river and boats typically sail over the top.
“Last month, the gates went up. We’re holding a pool there and having all the boats go through the lock,” she said. “We did have to dredge between the lock and the Mississippi River.”
It’s the fist time the gates have been up since 2008 and “it’s working as designed,” Driver said.