Grounding Temporarily Closes Lower Miss

Now that river levels are dropping, the heavy load of silt dropped by this spring’s flooding is causing groundings up and down the length of the Mississippi River. On September 19, the Coast Guard reported that a 35-barge tow pushed by the Ray Eckstein grounded at Victoria Bend, located at Mile 595 of the Lower Mississippi River, at 6:56 a.m. The river was temporarily closed while the barges were cleared.

At press time on September 19, the Ray Eckstein had moved 18 of the barges downriver and was working on the remaining barges with the help of two assist vessels, according to Coast Guard public affairs spokesman Brian Porter. Waiting to proceed northbound were 8 vessels pushing a total of 187 barges, while 4 vessels pushing 61 barges were waiting to go south.