Environment

Downed transmission line in Mississippi River could be removed by Friday -US Coast Guard

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Sept 1 (Reuters) - A major electric transmission line that fell into the Mississippi River due to Hurricane Ida could be removed by late Friday, a U.S. Coast Guard representative told Reuters on Wednesday.

The USCG is working with Entergy, which operates the massive transmission towers that toppled as a result of the hurricane, to clear the river. The hurricane knocked out power for more than a million homes and businesses, forced refineries and chemical facilities to shut, and throttled commerce on the river, a key artery for vessel traffic.

"We have barges, tugboats, and deep draft ships aground, and we have to mitigate those things to make sure we get the waterways open,” Watson said. "I believe by the end of the day today we will have commerce flowing on the river.”

There are about 40 barges aground on the banks of the river, said Capt. Will Watson, sector commander for the Coast Guard's New Orleans sector. The hurricane also closed Port Fourchon, the state's southernmost port. Watson said the port would likely be up and running in a number of days.

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Reporting By Jessica Resnick Ault; Editing by David Gregorio

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