A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Isaac's Wrath

Isaac remains a hurricane, centered at 10 am CDT over the city of Houma, Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds are 75 mph. Gradual weakening is expected, and Isaac should become a tropical storm later today as it moves slowly northwest through tonight. 
A Hurricane Warning continues along the coast from just east of Morgan City, Louisiana, eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama state line. A wind gust
to 74 mph was reported at the Mid Lake Station in Lake Pontchartrain, and a gust to 63 mph at New Orleans Lakefront Airport.
Winds affecting the upper floors of high-rise buildings will be significantly higher than those near ground level. At the 30th floor, it would likely be one category higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Storm surge of 6 to 12 feet is occurring in the hurricane warning area, with 3 to 6 feet on the Alabama coastline.
Rainfall amounts of 7 to 14 inches, with isolated 20 inches, are possible over much of Louisiana, southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama through Friday morning, resulting in significant lowland flooding that could last for days. This rain will spread into southern Arkansas on Thursday, with 3 to 6 inches expected by Friday morning, too.
Isolated tornadoes are possible today along the central Gulf coast today and lower Mississippi Valley.
Get the latest on Isaac, including watches, warnings, graphics and storm surge, on the NOAA NHC website at www.hurricanes.gov
For local impacts, go to the NOAA National Weather Service website at http://www.weather.gov/

No rain at this time here in Vicksburg but windy at times.  I'm sure as the day progresses we will be involved as it moves inland.  Half-a-million people are without power right now and I'm sure that will climb as well.
The big picture
August 29, 2012 at 10 am CDT
Hurricane Isaac extends from western boundary of Louisiana across all of Mississippi and into Alabama. Rain covers the lower half of Mississippi.

Two new tropical storms TS KIRK and TS ILEANA

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Is Coming

Isaac Churns in the Gulf
Image Credit: NASA GOES Project

This visible image of Tropical Storm Isaac taken from NASA/NOAA's GOES-13 satellite shows the huge extent of the storm, where the eastern-most clouds lie over the Carolina's and the western most clouds are brushing east Texas.

The image was captured today, August 28, 2012 at 10:25 a.m. EDT before it was announced a Cat. 1 hurricane.  At present Hurricane Isaac is moving currently northwestward toward the mouth of the Mississippi river while flooding from the storms surge and rainfall is expected.

Vicksburg is battening down the hatches today in anticipation of Isaac dumping up to 10 inches of rain on us Wednesday and Thursday according to our paper.  It will start today and continue up to three more days.  

We are also expecting power outages.  I guess I am prepared as much as I can be.  When Katrina came through in 2005 we were without power from 1:00 p.m. on Monday till 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.  It is ironic that another hurricane is coming on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  A little bit eerie for me!  If I do not post anymore for the rest-of-the week you will know that my electricity is out.  I hope everyone involved will try to stay safe as possible and the ones not involved, please keep us in your prayers until all of this is over with.

Monday, August 27, 2012

MS River Shut Down Again @ Greenville

Took this picture yesterday of sandbars out in the middle in the bend of the MS River @ Vicksburg.

According to our paper today, The Vicksburg Post, about 50 barges were sitting still in the closed MS River near Greenville this morning after a barge ran aground during the weekend.

Two miles of the river designated a "safety zone" for light barges south of the city could reopen today, depending on conditions, Coast Guard Petty Officer Ryan Tippets said.

A barge ran past buoys in the river that had marked the navigation channel Saturday evening, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.

Tippets said 24 barges waited to go north and 30 waited to head south this morning.

Part of the river near Baton Rouge was to close today to dredge the drought-lowered river.

Stages at the Vicksburg gauge dipped to minus 0.58 feet this morning, down two-tenths since Sunday.  The record low in the city is minus 7 feet in 1940.

A small towboat pushing an empty barge up the river yesterday staying close to the land headed north.

Dredging crews with the Corps and private vessels are active along the river in several states, trying to keep open a navigable channel.  Weather forecasters say the Mississippi could remain low until October.

The river was closed at Greenville last Monday for more than 24 hours after a barge ran aground, leaving river traffic stalled.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Towboats Finally Making It Through Vicksburg

This past Wednesday I went by the Mississippi Overlook at the Louisiana Circle to see if anything was coming down the river.  As soon as I pulled in I saw a towboat heading toward the bridges.  Jumped out of the truck and got these pictures.  I was surprised to see another towboat coming in behind it. Towboats are slowly coming down the river from Greenville, MS, where they had been stopped because of low water and towboats running aground.  Above is the towboat M/V Jake West as it passes by with half of a load of coal.

Today, our reading on the river is -0.03 feet.  Fell 0.02 foot.  Flood Stage is 43 feet.

You can see an airplane's contrails as it crosses over the river as the sun was setting.

Here comes another towboat rounding the bend in the river near Diamond Jacks Casino.

It is the M/V E. Bronson Ingram owned by Ingram Barge Company.

It had a pretty good size load.  

The sky paints a pretty picture as the sun sets.

The M/V E. Bronson Ingram, heading under the bridges going south.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

M/V Mississippi IV

Took this picture through a big window in the Lower Mississippi River Museum.

The Kitchen.  Did not think to take pictures of the living quarters and dinning area.

Making my way to the stern of the boat.

A huge spotlight.
Stern of the boat.

This is Rusty's Riverfront Grill across from the boat on our main street at 901 Washington Street.  Not everyday you see a huge boat dry-docked near your place of business.  Rusty's is a very popular place to go and eat in town.  You can check out or visit his site at: www.rustyriverfront.com. Rusty's at one time was just a few blocks south and down a hill in a log-styled cabin restaurant that later caught fire and burned down.  He relocated here and gradually fixed it up.  He is now in one of the hottest spots in town!

Landscaping still in progress in the parking lot.

Work also continues on the spiral staircase roof.

A barge coming down the Yazoo Diversion Canal headed to the Port Of Vicksburg which is very low.

A pilot on a Synergy towboat hoping not to meet anyone headed out.

The LMRM also features a model of the main Mississippi River channel.  Built by the Corps of Engineers Engineering and Research Development Center, ERDC, the model displays 80 miles of curves and bends from just south of Greenville, Mississippi to Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Visitors can walk along and even in the channel, learning about how the river and mainline levee system interact.

Jacob Porter, left, 3 and Laurel O'Bannon, 8, splash in a scale replica of a 70 miles section of the MS River during the grand opening of the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interprtive Site Friday.  Laurel is the daughter of Alainna and David O'Bannon; Jacob is the son of Sam and Holly Porter. ~The Vicksburg Post

@ Vicksburg - I-20 Bridge & Highway 80 Bridge.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers logo.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grand Opening of River Museum Today

Today at 9:00 a.m. was the grand opening of the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Riverfront Interpretive Site.  The building, boat and grounds are a $23 million dollar facility.  The main attraction is the retired MV Mississippi IV, where exhibits simulate life abroad a towboat and piloting the vessel on the river.

In the main building, a mural of Vicksburg's riverfront circa 1910 adorns a wall.  Other indoor exhibits simulate how the river's movement over time since 1775 had created oxbow lakes between Mississippi and Louisiana and one that tells the story of cultures on the river in the 17th century to the 1950s.

Behind the main exhibit hall is a scale model of the river between Greenville and Natchez that children can play on.  It holds about 2 inches of water to represent normal stages and about 5 inches to represent a flood.

Ground was broken for the center in 2009.  The concept began in l995, when the city purchased the retired towboat for $1.  The title was returned to the Corps in 2007, when the vessel was slow-rolled down Washington Street to the museum site at Washington and Jackson streets.

Below are some pictures I took of the interior of the museum and will post pictures of the MV Mississippi tomorrow.

A seated area showing a movie of the Great Flood of 1927.

The 1927 flood is described as one of the greatest domestic travesties in the United States, The Great Flood of 1927 not only impacted the lives of several hundred thousand people, but dramatically changed the focus of flood risk management.  As you explore the museum, you will learn about his devastating flood and meet some of the refugees that suffered through it.
Vicksburg, ca. 1400

Vicksburg, 1792

Vicksburg, 1825

Vicksburg, 1950

Looking out the corner window of a classroom with the Yazoo & Mississippi River Valley Depot in the background.   

A model on making a flood.


A huge fish tank inside the museum.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Run Deer Run

Doe made front page news!  

High-tailing it away from people and activity in the Vicksburg National Military Park at dusk Wednesday, a doe heads into the cover of the woods.  White-tailed deer are prolific in Warren County and Mississippi and are especially noticeable at this time of year.  Fawning season lasts for two to three months and is followed by mating seasons, which generally coincides with hunting season, which begins with bow-and-arrow season in October.  Eli Baylis - The Vicksburg Post

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Big Trouble - MS River Has Been Shut Down

I posted on Facebook yesterday a picture that was on the front page of our paper, The Vicksburg Post, that the Mississippi River had been shut down. (picture posted below)  There are 103 vessels on hold north, south of 11-mile stretch near Greenville, MS.  The barge traffic ground to a halt Monday and vessels were left to wait it out.  This section of the nation's busiest waterway had been closed intermittently since August 11, when a vessel ran aground.

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers' Dredge Jadwin, which is owned by the Vicksburg District, has been stationed 2-1/2 miles south of Greenville since Monday, working to vacuum silt and sand from the river bottom and eventually clear a channel deep enough to the vessels to pass.

The Mississippi River is vital for commerce and communities from the Gulf of Mexico to Minnesota, but the 2012 drought is putting all that who rely on it in jeopardy.

I drove by the Mississippi River overlook yesterday afternoon to take pictures as the sun was just setting.  Of course, no vessels were in site. I have lived here all my life and have never seen the river this low or heard of the river being shut down.  The river was at 0.7 feet yesterday with no change from Monday.  Forecasts through mid-September by the National Weather Service River Forecast Center showed a minus 0.6 foot stage in Vicksburg and minus 9.9 feet in Memphis.  The next forecast will be issued today.

Sun setting over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.  God's paintbrush at work!

A pulled-out view of the sun after setting.  Sand bars are way out on the Louisiana side.

The Mississippi River bridges (I-20 & Hwy 80) as the sun was setting yesterday evening.

A vessel heads south under the Interstate 20 and U.S. bridges over the Mississippi River yesterday morning. Eli Baylis - The Vicksburg Post

UPDATE:  River traffic began to trickle through about 5 hours ago.  Cost estimate of $10,000 per barge per day.  Ninety barges were stranded near Greenville this morning, down from 103 mid-morning yesterday.
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