Osceola River Port now open

High water levels cause temporary shutdown at river port
Mayor Dickie Kennemore (Source: KAIT-TV)
Mayor Dickie Kennemore (Source: KAIT-TV)

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - The flooding along the Mississippi River earlier this month caused officials to temporarily close the Osceola River Port.

The waters have subsided and the port, a major port for agriculture in the region, is now open.

According to Jeff Worsham, port officials had to play catch up after being closed for nearly a month. However, Worsham said the closure would not have a major impact on the port currently being in its busy season.

The heavy rains in the region did cause the temporary closure after the Mississippi River was at 33 feet, about six feet above flood stage, Osceola Mayor Dickie Kennemore said earlier this month.

High water can complicate work at the port in multiple ways.

First, water begins to seep into the underground bean storage, and second, the barges no longer fit under the grain loading dock.

Mayor Kennemore said this is not an emergency, but it does cause some inconvenience.

"It causes a ripple effect for those farmers who have grain stored on site in their farm," Kennemore said. "They're going to have to wait a while now before they can bring it and ship it out over here."

Kennemore said the river was expected to crest at about 38 feet on March 7. Then, it should drop from there.

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