Ouachita River

finchlake2000 / flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Financial problems are making upkeep difficult on the Ouachita –Black River system.

Tracy Hilburn, Operations Superintendent of the Tensas Basin Levee District says the system has $30,000,000 in outstanding work that could determine the amount of commercial river traffic that uses the Ouachita River.

Hilburn says if the river traffic doesn’t pick up the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could walk away from the project. 

Patrick Lewis / Flickr.com / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Ouachita River system is in a perilous situation. The lack of commercial barge traffic on the river may mean reduced federal funds for dredging and repairs to locks and dams. This lack of upkeep has forced some shippers off the river and if total commercial tonnage doesn’t pick up the river could return to a natural state.

Randy Denmon of Ouachita River Valley Association (ORVA) will be a panelist at KEDM’s Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry. We will discuss the dangers of a declining river system.

Cory Crowe / KEDM

90.3 KEDM Public Radio hosts Policy and a Pint: Ouachita Runs Dry-The Decline of a River System on Tuesday April 11 at 6 p.m. Topics to be discussed include river health, drinking water, economic impact, agricultural impact, industry and recreational use of the Ouachita River.

Cory Crowe / KEDM

A doomsday situation could be just around the corner for North Louisiana and South Arkansas.  The Ouachita River could be defunded by the Corp of Engineers because of a lack of barge traffic.

Terry Baugh of the Ouachita Port says, “We are one pen swipe from disaster.”

The Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District (OPMAD) shares tips on mosquito control.

 The rain has brought along more than flooded backyards and ditches. Flood water mosquito activity has increased due to significant amounts of rainfall in the area.  

Shannon Rider, Director of the Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District, says there are several flood water species of mosquitos.  'They are pretty aggressive mosquitos and pretty aggressive biters and painful biters."    

finchlake2000 / Flickr.com

  The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to restore 24-hour service to the most important locks on the Ouachita River navigation system after more than two years of lobbying from the Ouachita River Valley Association.

Bill Hobgood, executive director of the association, says 24-hour service will be restored on the Jonesville and Columbia locks, where more than 90 percent of commercial navigation takes place, by late summer or fall. The two uppers locks, Felsenthal and H.K. Thatcher in Arkansas, will continue to operate on two eight-hour shifts each day.