The Port of New Orleans continues to conduct business as usual and new forecasts since the opening of the Morganza Floodway Saturday indicate river levels in New Orleans are expected to remain steady for the next two weeks.
“We are working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to monitor the high River situation, but all indications point to avoiding any major restrictions on the Lower Mississippi River throughout this event,” said Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “A 17-foot reading at the Carrollton Gauge is by no means unprecedented and Corps of Engineers’ officials believe they can maintain that level. The Port’s cruise and cargo operations are ongoing as usual.”
Since May 11, the port has handled 18 vessels, including the Norwegian Spirit and Carnival Triumph cruise ships over the weekend at its Erato Street Cruise Terminal. Also included in that number are eight container vessels and eight general cargo vessels. In all, 61 ocean going vessels have entered the Lower Mississippi River since May 11, according to the New Orleans Board of Trade.
The vessel-arrival figures continue to be strong and have surged in 2011. During the first four months of 2011, 1,857 oceangoing vessels traversed the Lower Mississippi River, up 18.3 percent, or 288 vessels, compared to the same period one year ago.
The water level at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans was at 16.92 feet this morning and cresting, down .08 feet in the last 24 hours. Corps officials have said that they will be able to maintain the current water level near 17 feet by using the spillways to divert the River’s crest. Real time readings from the Carrollton Gage can be found at the Corps’ website at: http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/WaterControl/stationinfo2.cfm?sid=01300&fid=NORL1&dt=S
May 16, 2011