Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Council flotsam

Right now the Corps is briefing the City Council on the river situation. T-P's Michelle Krupa is live-blogging the meeting.

Points of interest so far:

If the river gets to 18 feet or higher, they're going to close the floodgates along the riverfront. Also they're asking people to stay off of the levees as much as possible. From a purely selfish point of view I'm disappointed. I was hoping to get a chance to take a few more pictures this weekend of the high water. It may be that I don't get to do that now. Leigh got a shot this morning of the French Quarter gauge and it's already a foot higher than it was last weekend.

Also what does this mean, exactly?

"If Morganza isn't opened quickly enough, we have Avondale Shipyards," she says. The facility's electrical infrastructure is at 18 feet, which means the shipyard -- and its 3,000 workers -- would shut down. A nuclear power plant in St. Charles Parish also could be affected, she says.
Referring to the Waterford 3 plant, of course. In what way do they mean it "could be affected"?

Oh but here's my favorite bit. Just a little while ago I read this story on WWLTV's site about river traffic.

A runaway ship could cause major problems.

"They're going to drag the anchors at some point. Some of them will even pop the anchor chains. If that was to occur with this historic level of river, the ship would be at the top of the levee and it would take very little for that ship to punch a hole in the levee," said Michael Rooney, president of the New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association.

And then just now in Council chambers, here's Jackie Clarkson.

City Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson arrives and lays into barge owners and operators who don't moor their vessels, vowing that the city will sink all untethered vessles.

"We can't afford to have barges breaking loose, breaking levees," she says.

And suddenly we have this image in our mind of Jackie standing in Washington Artillery Park in her blood-red blazer firing the antique cannon at river barges. This pleases us greatly.

Oyster suggests this may be the image we're describing.

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