Coast Guard reopens Lower Mississippi River to limited vessel traffic after Hurricane Isaac

America's Heartland Coast Guard NewsNEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans reopened the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to the mouth of the river to limited vessel traffic Thursday at 10 p.m.

The following vessels may transit the lower Mississippi River:

  • Vessels 250 feet in length or less
  • Vessels with a draft of 30 feet or less
  • Tows are permitted to transit down bound from any point above the Hale Boggs Bridge to destinations below the Hale Boggs Bridge


The Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, River Pilot Associations and port authorities surveyed the river and surrounding waterways in an aggressive effort to identify navigational hazards.

Although the Mississippi River was heavily impacted by the storm, the navigational channel is in good condition. The Coast Guard is working with the maritime industry to respond to a number of ship groundings and barge strandings along the riverbank caused by the river surge and high winds of the storm.

“The storm hit the Mississippi River hard. The great work of the maritime community to prepare for the storm paid off,” said Capt. Peter Gautier, Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we’re in a great position to quickly restore the country’s most important waterway.”

The public is reminded to notify the Sector New Orleans Incident Management Team at 504-365-2158 of any sunken vessels, pollution in the water, suspicious activities, and unsafe conditions.

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