POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 9:03pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 8:33pm
Natchez, MS (NBC33) — A 15 mile stretch of the Mississippi at Natchez was closed entirely earlier on Tuesday, blocking vessels heading toward the Gulf of Mexico.
Had the channel remained closed, it could've brought traffic to a standstill up and down the river, which moves about 500 million tons of cargo each year.
That sort of interruption could've cost the U.S. economy hundreds of millions of dollars for every day of idled barges carrying coal, timber, iron, steel and more than half of america's grain exports.