Drought-Ravaged Water Levels Impacting Some Barge Traffic

Monday, July 30th 2012, 12:29 pm
By: News On 6

Barge traffic concerns on the drought-ravaged lower Mississippi River are not yet impacting barge traffic in and out of Tulsa's Port of Catoosa.

Right now, barge operators on the lower Mississippi River have lightened their loads so the barges will have a 9-foot draft, so they won't get stuck.

Bob Portiss, director of the Port of Catoosa says barges in and out of Tulsa have a draft of 8 and a half foot.

He says that gives barges on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System at least 6 inches to spare.

Typically, a barge must unload 204 tons of cargo for every foot loss of draft. The draft is the vertical distance between the barge's waterline and the lowest point of its keel which is normally flat.