To keep the public and professional mariners apprised of changes to river traffic, the 8th District will continue to issue press releases capturing all closures and restrictions throughout this period of high water and flooding.
The following Coast Guard sectors have issued closures or restrictions:
Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River:
- The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has re-opened the Mississippi River surrounding the St. Louis Harbor from mile marker 179 to mile marker 185. Vessels operating in this area must be in compliance with horsepower and barge restrictions in accordance with the Western Rivers Waterways Action Plan.
- Illinois River is open with restrictions between mile markers 0 to 50 from Hardin, Illinois to Valley City, Illinois. Mariners are asked to minimize wake and avoid laying vessels against saturated levees. Recreational traffic is strongly discouraged due to debris and swift currents. The Illinois River remains closed between mile marker 50 and mile marker 102.
- The Missouri River is open to vessel traffic.
- The Coast Guard urges mariners to monitor VHF-FM channels 16 and 22 for any changes to the river.
Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley:
- The Coast Guard has reopened the Mississippi River from mile marker 110, near Chester Illinois, to mile marker 34, near Billings Landing, Missouri.
- A safety advisory is in place from mile marker 110 to mile marker 0. While river stages are decreasing, mariners are advised that drift, debris, and strong currents may be a hazard to navigation.
- The Coast Guard continues to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to monitor the integrity of the levee systems in Ohio Valley and around the Cape Girardeau region.
Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River:
- High water safety advisory on Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 869, near Caruthersville, Missouri, to mile marker 303 near Natchez, Mississippi.
- Russell B. Long Lock and Dam #4 on Red River open to traffic.
- Lock and Dam #7 and Lock and Dam #14 on Arkansas River open to traffic.
- Safety zone between mile markers 737 and 734 on the Lower Mississippi River.Coast Guard Sector New Orleans:
- The Carrollton Gauge indicates a Mississippi River Stage of 15 ft. on the rise.
- Until further notice, vessel to vessel cargo transfers are prohibited unless specifically approved in advance by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans.
- Vessels are prohibited from entering South Pass from the Gulf of Mexico if it has a speed of less than 10 miles per hour.
- Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans has determined that during periods of high water, unless moored to a shore side facility or mooring buoys, all deep draft vessels must have three means to hold position. An example would be two fully operational anchors and the propulsion system in standby. Should a vessel lose an anchor or become inoperable with no redundant capabilities available, such as aft anchors or two main engines, a third means of holding position could be via tug assist.
- A safety zone is in effect from mile marker 130 on the Atchafalaya River extending north through the Bayou Chene and ending at mile marker 85 on the Intercoastal Waterway near Morgan City, La. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Morgan City. A barge will be sunk perpendicularly across the Chene to slow down rising water levels.
- High water towing limitations near Morgan City for vessels heading southbound with a length no greater than 600 feet.
- A high water safety advisory is in effect from mile marker 219 to mile marker 240 near Baton Rouge, La.
- Traffic control measures are in place at 81 mile point near Algiers Point
This list is up-to-date as of: Jan. 8, 2016, 1:30 p.m.