Mississippi River, Louisiana ports reopened to all vessels

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NATCHEZ, Miss.) — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of New Orleans and the Captain of the Port of Morgan City have re-opened portions of Southeastern Louisiana waterways to commercial vessel traffic, with some restrictions.
The following openings and restrictions are in effect:
– the Mississippi River is open to all vessel traffic for the entire river, from the Southwest Pass jetties upriver to mile marker 303.  Vessels entering and departing the Gulf of Mexico from the Southwest Pass sea buoy are limited to a 30-foot draft or less.
– the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway is open from mile marker 44, east of the Harvey Locks, to mile marker 191, west of Harvey Locks.
– the Atchafalaya River is open from mile marker 0 to mile marker 45.
– the Morgan City-Port Allen Alternate Route is open.
– deep draft vessels wishing to get underway from a pier or anchorage must first get Coast Guard permission.
– all vessels are required to exercise the slowest safe speed to minimize wake at mile marker 55 in the Mississippi River, Above Head of Passes, due to a partially submerged barge.
– all vessels are required to transit at the slowest safe speed in the vicinity of the Point Celeste Anchorage, due to the presence of a grounded deep draft vessel.
– the Coast Guard can not provide Vessel Traffic Service coverage between mile marker 187.9 and mile marker 167 – vessels should navigate that area with extreme caution.
– a safety zone has been established in the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) from the IHNC locks to mile marker 11, east of the Harvey Locks.  No entry is allowed into the safety zone without Coast Guard Captain of the Port permission.  The safety zone is in place due to potential hazards from salvage operations.
All other waterway restrictions in Southeast Louisiana remain in place until ongoing post-hurricane assessments for aids to navigation, pollution and navigational hazards are completed.  Although preliminary waterway surveys have not revealed navigational hazards, the Coast Guard urges all mariners to use extreme caution when navigating these waterways.
By Professional Mariner Staff