Heavy Rains Delay Boat Traffic on Arkansas River

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The high water running through the Arkansas River has slowed barge and boat traffic through the waterway.

What makes it so dangerous for the barges and other watercraft is the sand and debris that's collected and floating throughout the river at its rapid pace.  Heavy rains have the river running four times its normal speed.

Little Rock Port Authority Executive Director Paul Latture says while 70 barges stop there on a good month, only 23 made port in July.

At Logistics Services Incorporated, a company that loads and unloads barges, they say the numbers are down also.  Don Hines, operations manager there, says some companies now are using ground transportation to ferry their goods.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects the river to remain high through the middle of August.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)