Closing the Mississippi River: Safe but Costly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers continue working around the clock to prevent massive flooding to major cities in the South. But even as they open floodgates and break through levees, the Mississippi River continues to rise. If it rises above 18.5 feet — two feet higher than it was on Saturday — access to parts of the river could be limited or temporarily shut down.

Thousands of ships carry millions of cargo up the Mississippi River every day. The Port of New Orleans estimates that the United States would lose $295 million for every day the river is closed. We talk with Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange about the type of industries that rely on the river and type of hit this would blow to the American economy. We also speak with Dan Borné, President of the Louisiana Chemical Association, about the importance of the Mississippi River, a waterway he calls the "aorta of the American breadbasket."

Guests:

Dan Borné and Gary LaGrange

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

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