The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) continues responding to active shoaling in Southwest Pass (SWP) deposited by long-term high river stages (historic flood event and record precipitation levels). There is a total of three hopper dredges working in the area of SWP (2 industry hoppers and 1 government hopper) and two dustpan dredges working on the Crossings. The government hopper dredge WHEELER was recently approved for 45-days under the Red Flag Emergency Callout Procedure. The MVN has now awarded Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #10-2019 to the hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) and will advertise a bid opening for Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #11-2019 on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
TRANSIT RESTRICTIONS AT SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
- The Bar Pilots maximum draft recommendation remains at 44 feet (freshwater) as established at 1000 hours on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
- The Crescent River Port Pilots maximum draft recommendation of 44 feet (freshwater) remains as established on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.
- The Federal Pilots increased their maximum draft recommendation to 44 feet (freshwater) on Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
INDUSTRY HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) is presently dredging on assignment from Mile 10.4 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 9.8 AHP (Venice Jump). The NEWPORT began dredging in SWP on November 28, 2018. The NEWPORT will complete Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2019 on June 8, 2019 and then start dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #8-2019 upon completion of #1-2019.
STUYVESANT: The hopper dredge STUYVESANT (Dutra Group) is dredging on assignment from Mile 5.0 Below Head of Passes (BHP) to Mile 6.5 BHP. The STUYVESANT began dredging in SWP on Thursday, March 7, 2019 under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #6-2019. This contract should be completed on June 14, 2019 and work under Contract #10-2019 will start immediately and keep the hopper dredge in SWP until mid-July, with options to extend the contract if needed.
GOVERNMENT HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
WHEELER: MVN’s hopper dredge WHEELER continues dredging under Red Flag Emergency Callout #5-2019 and is working on assignment from Mile 1.0 AHP to Mile 0.6 BHP. The WHEELER was approved for 45-days of dredging under this Red Flag Emergency Callout due to receiving no bids to the advertisement of Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #9-2019.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) continues dredging in the Hopper Dredge Disposal Area and is beneficially using all material in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The cutterhead dredged on the Ship Channel (SWP) from December 15, 2018 to April 24, 2019 and returned to dredging in the HDDA on April 26, 2019. A total of 4.5 million cubic yards of material has now been beneficially placed in the PALWMA from the HDDA and has restored approximately 350 acres of sensitive wildlife habitat.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The Corps dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging operations on the central 250 feet of channel at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 AHP). The government dustpan dredge commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 4, 2019.
WALLACE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLCE McGEORGE continues dredging operations on the central 250 feet of channel at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 191 AHP). The industry hopper dredge commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 9, 2019.
The White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) will be off limits for vessel usage while dredging operations are conducted at Alhambra Crossing. The anchorage closure is now expected to be required until Tuesday, June 11, 2019 (extended).
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 1200 hours was 16.54 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.19 feet.
The Baton Rouge Gauge reading at 1100 hours was 43.48 feet, with a 24-hour change of – 0.01 feet.
There remain 168 open bays at the Bonnet Carré Spillway and the Corps continues to review the need to operate the Morganza Floodway (Spillway).
The graph below is reproduced from NOAA’s National Weather Service website and represents an experimental product to account for the complexity of accurately predicting long-range precipitation. This forecast projects stage levels based on expected precipitation for 2 days (top) and 16 days (bottom) and was developed within the North American Ensemble Forecast System (NAEFS) computer model and highlights Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF). Along with the forecasts, a shaded area is also provided to indicate uncertainty for the forecast each day in the future. These plots are experimental and not an official forecast product.