Saturday, April 30, 2011

News roundup

Several days before an accident in Pittsburgh resulted in two sunken barges in the Ohio River, the Coast Guard warned towboat operators of hazards of navigating in high water and suggested they reduce the number of barges in each tow, according to The Pittburgh Tribune-Review.

The article says the Coast Guard has recorded two or three times the usual number of accidents during the recent high water, the article says.


The Great Steamboat Race in Louisville, normally held during the week before the Kentucky Derby, has been rescheduled to June 29 because of high water.


Here's another one everyone saw coming: Officials address mooring issues after riverfront restaurant breaks  loose.


One more: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear estimates flood damage to the commonwealth at $34 million.


Debi Sharp downbound

Thursday morning and afternoon, I attended the meeting of the Marshall University Board of Governors. On the way back home to file my story for the Internet, I decided to take the long way. If I saw a boat and felt the need to get some pictures, I could charge it off to lunch time. But I had to enjoy the first nice day that I could spend -- at least part of it -- outdoors.

I took a few pictures of the East End bridge just to have for comparison of how it looks at different times of day and year in different weather conditions. As I got in my car, I reviewed the pictures and noticed there was a boat under the bridge, probably a Crounse boat. Those things are pretty distinctive. So I figured I'd get a few more shots off before I got back to work.

The Ohio River was running high and the wind was whipping up some waves, which helped make for some big splashes as the barges pushed through.

D.A. Grimm

Here's one of the D.A. Grimm stopping at Kenova, W.Va., to pick up a few barges. Or move them around. I don't know what it was doing, really, because I couldn't get a good look at it. But I did get a different view of it as I shot the pilothouse from below, thanks to the high water.

The Grimm is one of my favorite boats to shoot. I don't know why. Maybe it's the classic old-time look. Maybe it's because I see it and a similar boat, the Bill Stile, so often.

I took this picture, too. Then I tried to tweak it to make it look better. But things kept going wrong. So I remembered an old saying: Once a job has been messed up, any attempt to make it better will only make it worse, sometimes much worse.

Here's evidence that said saying is true:

Flood news and a difficult decision

The good news regarding the Ohio River flood of 2011 is that in some places the river has crested and is falling, such as in Evansville.

But along the Mississippi River in Missouri, people fear the Corps of Engineers will proceed with a plan to blow a two-mile-wide hole in a levee to relieve  pressure on the Ohio  River at Cairo, where the flood is expected to top 1937 levels. Understandably, a lot of people in Missouri don't want to sacrifice their homes and farms to save the city of Cairo. Likewise, the people of Cairo don't want to be a smaller version what happened in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina. So far, a court has sided with the Corps and Cairo, but the decision likely will be appealed.