Silt Continues To Hamper Tenn-Tom Shipping

Record floodwaters are receding on the Tennessee-Tombigbee system, but they have left behind record amounts of silt that have forced some shippers to resort to trucks instead of barges.

The most heavily silted area is north and south of the Aberdeen Lock and Dam on the Tombigbee River, where the water is reported to be only knee-deep in places. One company, Tronox, told the Daily Times Leader the high water and silting has cost it almost $6 million in lost revenues and $630,000 in additional logistics costs. The Corps is conducting assessment of silting on the river and has hired Mike Hooks Dredging to clear the silt at Aberdeen.

Tennessee Aid Request

On March 23, every member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation urged President Trump to quickly approve disaster aid for 53 Tennessee counties. A disaster aid request was submitted by Gov. Bill Lee as a result of the severe storms and flooding that began February 6.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn and Reps. Tim Burchett, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Mark Green, David Kustoff, Phil Roe and John Rose.

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The letter thanked the president for making $10 million in federal money immediately available on March 15 to help repair roads damaged by flood and landslides.

“However, the severe storms that swept across the state of Tennessee beginning on February 6 brought severe storms and flooding that cost the state over $151 million. In response to the floods and severe storms, the state of Tennessee provided over 4,000 meals, distributed almost 300 cases of water, monitored 58 rock slides or falls, and was forced to close down 75 locations on state highways.”

The Cumberland River’s locks are now all open and traffic is proceeding, according to a Nashville Engineer District spokesman.