June 8, 2017

The Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District are reminding waterway users on the Mississippi River that during present high river stages, revetments and levees south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are subject to damage from wave wash resulting from vessels travelling at excessive speeds, as well as contact from barges and vessels moored along the riverbank. Vessels that push against riverbanks frequently cause damage to the stone and concrete revetments that protect the foundations of the adjacent levee, and in turn, the entire flood control system. Such structural damage may result in erosion of the levee and could lead to flood protection instability or failure.

As announced in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Bulletin No. 17-30, mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when navigating in the section of the river between Baton Rouge and Head of Passes, proceed at slowest safe speed and steer a course as far away as possible from the levees and revetments to avoid damage by suction and wave wash. Vessels and tows mooring in the fore bays of Algiers, Harvey, Inner Harbour Navigation Canal, Port Allen and Old River Locks shall also exercise extreme caution to prevent corning in contact with the controlling levee line in those areas.

Mariners and fleet operators are advised to secure their vessels and barges in such a manner as to ensure that that there will be no contact with the levees or revetments, and that the barges are no closer than 180 feet to the centreline of the levee. Vessel owners or other persons responsible for any vessels or barges making contact with the levees and revetments, may be subject to fines issued by the Army Corps of Engineers under Title 33 of the United States Code, Sections 408 and 412