NEW ORLEANS (U.S. Coast Guard)– As the high water season begins on the Mississippi and the Western Rivers, the Coast Guard is urging mariners to prepare for the risks associated with high water levels and strong currents.
High water and strong river currents can quickly create a dangerous situation for a vessel and its crew, officials said.
It is important to take actions that reduce the risks associated with high water.
As of July 2018, towing vessels are now subject to regular Coast Guard inspections according to Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter M.
These inspections ensure the vessels are meeting the regulations related to safety management, equipment, construction and operational requirements.
The National Weather Service predicts that there is an elevated threat of spring flooding for the Western Rivers of the U.S.
During the fall of 2019, the upper Midwest experienced rainfall levels at 150 percent to 200 percent of normal, and the river levels are already high throughout the area.
This sets the stage for the elevated risk of flooding during the upcoming spring, even with a normal level of precipitation during the winter.
The Coast Guard recommends that all mariners, both commercial and recreational, take measures to protect themselves and their vessels as we approach the high water season.