The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week held a teleconference about the ongoing work of drying up New Orleans and other Gulf Coast Barry Kennedy, a Water Resources Planner with the Corps, said while cargo shipping’s been halted by the storm, we won’t have to wait until after harvest time for Iowa barge shipping to resume. He says the Mississippi River will probably open to “full deep-draught navigation” in 7 to ten days. The river’s open but barges that carry grain south to export markets, and fertilizer and other goods north up the Mississippi, have been tied up along the riverbank for two weeks now. Some traffic resumed in the past few days and Kennedy says the volume will increase. The main it’s waiting on now, he said, is putting “aids to navigation” that boat pilots use to traverse the river. Storm-wrecked boats may be blocking the southern end of the waterway, but contractors are surveying to find and remove them now. And the Port of New Orleans is operating about over half its original capacity despite the destruction, loading cargo like Midwest grain onto ocean-going cargo ships bound for world markets.
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