Consistent High Water Levels Continue to Disrupt Barge Navigation

This article has been reprinted from the March 7 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

Consistent highwater levels on most of the inland waterways has caused disruptions throughout the system.

For the week ending March 2, Ohio River Olmsted Locks and Dams (L&D) did not report any down-bound grain traffic.

While Olmsted has been operational during the highwater events, grain traffic expected to arrive at Olmsted has been stopped by the flood-induced closure at nearby Smithland L&D.

Smithland was closed on February 20 due to highwater causing a backup of traffic.

As of March 7, there were 65 tows of barges above Smithland waiting to transit the lock.

Elsewhere, there are navigation restrictions on the lower Mississippi River that include tow size restrictions and daylight only transit through Memphis, Vicksburg, and Baton Rouge.

As of March 3, the year-to-date number of grain barges unloading at the Gulf were 6,282, which is 10 percent lower than the 3-year average.