The US Port of New Orleans welcomed arrival of the American Harmony, the second modern cruise riverboat in the US last week. The newest ship in American Cruise Lines’ series of five modern riverboats will remain docked in its homeport until it departs on its inaugural Mississippi River cruise on 17 August.
On June 16, a product tanker collided with the Sunshine Bridge, a highway crossing over the Mississippi about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. As the US Coast Guard reported, no injuries or pollution took place. The fender system sustained damages, with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development stating that there are no structural issues with the bridge itself.
In its latest Shipping and Safety Review, Allianz discussed how the changing weather patterns observed in the last years are disrupting supply chain, resulting in physical damage shipping incidents. The report cited recent examples, such as record low water levels on the Rhine and Elbe rivers and high water in Mississippi.
The rain that is pouring along the US Midwest and Great Plains has closed refineries, flooded streets and led to problems for the Mississippi River traffic. What is more, there is no sign of that this situation will stop soon, coming to add to the US’s most wet 12-month period ever recorded.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an investigation report on the engine room fire onboard the towing vessel ‘Leland Speakes’ on the Lower Mississippi River, in February 2018. A catastrophic failure and crankcase breach of the port main engine caused the fire.
Because of the alarming rising levels seen on Mississippi River, Bloomberg informs that the Morganza Floodway may be opened for the third time in the history, increasing the possibilities of flooding a large part of rural Louisiana and affecting refineries in the region.
The Swedish Club issued an alert on the unprecedented increase that the Upper Mississippi river is expected to experience. Specifically, the rises of 6 to 7 feet are expected on the Upper Mississippi above the junction with the Ohio River, according to forecast of May 1, from Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, LMRFC.
High water on the US Mississippi river keeps on reducing shipping traffic, in light of the flood warning still in effect for river areas north of St Louis, Missouri, limiting the size of tows in New Orleans, Louisiana and making the discharge conditions of import vessels difficult, reports ICIS author, Lane Kelley.
The US Coast Guard published an alert for towboats, warning them for very strong currents at the Lower Mississippi River. Namely, three marine casualties led to the sinking of towing vessels, while one of them resulted in a fatality. USCG says that it is vital for vessel operators to provide a wide berth when maneuvering around any other vessel or object.
The NTSB issued an investigation report on the flooding and sinking of the towing vessel ‘Nancy C’ on Lower Mississippi River, near Dyersville, Tennessee, in March 2018. The investigation identified poor maintenance as key cause of the incident.
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