The Hickman Fulton County Riverport has received money for much-needed dredging. Director Greg Curlin says the Army Corps of Engineers told him earlier this month that $1.9 million dollars in disaster relief money would be used for a one-time dredging at the riverport. Curlin says without the dredging, low summertime water levels would have made it difficult for barges to make it into the harbor.
"Starting in the time frame around July, October, is when you have your general times where the waters on the Mississippi get low. We expected to be shut down here this summer for a period of time when the water does get low. But what this should do is put us at a draft that we should be able to continue to run."
Curlin says when the port shuts down, it has an immediate effect on the businesses that depend on it for shipping needs. He says this has been a constant struggle since 2000, when the Army Corps of Engineers started cutting back on dredging funds. Curlin says the one time dredge, expected to be complete by July 1st, provides temporary relief as officials search for more permanent options.