Lower Mississippi River (LMR) Dredging Update 102819
The Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley New Orleans (MVN) continues dredging operations in response to record shoaling deposited by historic long-term high river stages (record flood event created by record precipitation levels). The MVN continues to recover authorized channel dimensions on the Crossings Above New Orleans and in Southwest Pass. All three dustpan dredges are working on the Crossings and a cutterhead and hopper dredge are now working on the channel in Southwest Pass.
DUSTPAN DREDGE(S) ON THE CROSSINGS ABOVE NEW ORLEANS:
HURLEY: The Corps dustpan dredge HURLEY continues dredging full channel dimensions (500 feet by 45 feet) at Red Eye Crossing (Mile 224 Above Head of Passes [AHP]). The dustpan resumed dredging at Red Eye Crossing on October 21, 2019 after being released to work on a temporary shallow-draft assignment at Victoria Bend (Mile 594 AHP). The government dustpan dredge originally commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 4, 2019.
WALLCE McGEORGE: The industry dustpan dredge WALLCE McGEORGE continues dredging full channel dimensions at Alhambra Crossing (Mile 192 AHP). The industry dustpan dredge commenced dredging on the Crossings on May 9, 2019.
While the WALLACE McGEORGE is dredging at Alhambra Crossing the White Castle Anchorage (Mile 191.1 AHP to Mile 190.4 AHP) will be off limits for vessel usage. The NOBRA and Federal Pilots will keep the White Castle Anchorage cleared of vessels until dredging operations are completed. The estimated date of completion at Alhambra is November 7, 2019.
JADWIN: The Corps dustpan dredge continues dredging full channel dimensions at Belmont Crossing (Mile 154 AHP). The government dustpan dredge returned to dredging on the Crossings on September 13, 2019 after completing a temporary assignment on the shallow-draft channel.
HOPPER DREDGE(S) IN THE SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
NEWPORT: The industry hopper dredge NEWPORT (Manson Construction) commenced dredging at the Head of Passes (Mile 1 AHP to Mile Below Head of Passes [BHP]) on the eastern side of the channel (at 1941 hours on October 25, 2019). The hopper dredge completed dredging full channel dimensions at Rich Bend (Mile 158 AHP) before returning to SWP. The NEWPORT is dredging under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #8-2019 and is expected to remain on the Ship Channel until mid-November (2019).
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN SOUTHWEST PASS (SWP):
C.R. McCASKILL: Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge C.R. McCASKILL is presently located at Mile 2.5 AHP and is working on assignment from Cubits Gap (Mile 3.5 AHP) to the Head of Passes (Mile 0) on the western side of the channel. The cutterhead began dredging on July 24, 2019 under Southwest Pass Cutterhead Dredge Rental Contract #2-2019.
CUTTERHEAD DREDGE(S) IN THE HOPPER DREDGE DISPOSAL AREA (HDDA):
R.S. WEEKS: The industry cutterhead dredge R.S. WEEKS (Weeks Marine) continues dredging at the HDDA, all material is being beneficially used in the Pass A’Loutre Wildlife Management Area (PALWMA). The MVN was recently able to extend this contract, the original contract was to remove 12 million cubic yards (mcy) of material from the HDDA. An increase in funding was utilized to extend this contract and increase the amount of material to be removed by approximately 3.0 mcy, increasing the contract to remove a total of 15.3 mcy of material. The cutterhead dredges have now beneficially utilized more than 10.5 mcy of material from the HDDA and restored approximately 840 acres in the PALWMA.
The Carrollton Gauge (New Orleans) reading at 0900 hours today was 7.47 feet, with a 24-hour change of + 0.06 feet.
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.