Updated: friday, february 21, 2020
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The river industry continues to experience high water events at multiple locations on the U.S. inland waterways. While ACBL strives to anticipate average historical periods of restricted movements as a normal cost of its operations, recent high water events have created delays and internalized costs beyond what is considered routine in the normal course of business. High water events on the inland waterways continue to be a shared burden for all that rely on river transportation If river areas are deemed in a high water event under a Waterways Action Plan or any U.S. Coast Guard directive, industry agreement or other controlling rule or regulation and there are restrictions imposed on ACBL's ability to navigate the river areas then ACBL may implement a high water surcharge.
Today's Key Issues
- Gulf and Canals Weather Update - Fog has been cleared out as of 2/21, but has driven a loss of approx. 36-48 hours of productivity since Sunday 2/16. Cold-front continues moving through today, 2/21, driving delays due to high winds, particularly on the Canals, through Saturday 2/22. After this system passes, good operating conditions expected through the weekend, 2/22 - 2/24.
- Flood Conditions on the Lower Miss - River Levels are in flood stage from Cairo to the Gulf, driving a 5-10 barge Tow Size reduction, or a 14-24% reduction in productivity. Furthermore, daylight restrictions in Memphis, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge are increasing transits by as much as 2 days or 40%. These flood conditions are expected to remain until late March basis the river stage at Baton Rouge, currently at 39.2 ft. NOAA forecasts Baton Rouge to crest approx. March 4th at 41 ft and to remain above the 35 ft Flood Stage for at least the next 20 days. If additional rain continues in March, we could be headed for an extended flood situation similar to 2019.
- Flood Conditions in the Gulf - Tow Size restrictions have decreased productivity by 43% for 4200HP boats redelivering loads and empties. To maintain commitments to service in the Gulf, ACBL has increased their shuttle boats from four boats to seven at significant expense.
- Warrior Tom and Tenn Tom High Water Impact - Multiple locks are closed and some running daylight-only due to high water. Tows are also reporting stoppage due to high flows and clearance concerns at some bridges. Please see River Closures for more detail.
- Tennessee River : cannot transit from Guntersville to Knoxville due to very high water flows.
- Louisville: @ McAlpine Lock ..... Louisville: @ McAlpine Lock (OR607) ...... running normal traffic at this time ..... no restrictions