Sunday, May 1, 2011

So long, Smitty, for now?

Capt. David Smith told Adam and me the other evening that the Smitty is being prepared for service on the Illinois River soon. It could be leaving the Kanawha Harbor as early as tomorrow. We've seen the Smitty on the Ohio River several times.

Face-off in Point Pleasant

Here's something I hadn't seen before: Two boats pushing and pulling to get some barges into the Kanawha River from the Ohio. We came upon this scene as the Dru Lirette and the Leonard L. Whittington were pushing and pulling. I don't know what happened before we got there. But we did get these photos.

For those wanting to know, the boat in the background in the top picture is the Lawson W. Hamilton Jr.

Meanwhile on the upper and middle river...

While the lower Ohio River deals with record floods, people farther up have relief coming. Here at Huntington, the river level has dropped about five feet since Saturday morning, and it could fall another nine feet by Tuesday evening.

New record at Cairo

Now it's official, just as everyone expected. At 2 a.m. today the Ohio River at Cairo surpassed the flood of 1937 to become the highest on record there. It's expected to rise another seven-tenths of a foot before cresting.

Meanwhile, Missouri's fight to prevent the Corps from blowing a hole and flooding farmland in that state is going to the Supreme Court and police in Cairo do not know how many people refuse to obey an order to evacuate the town.