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Concrete mats to help protect Mississippi River from erosion

Photo from Carolyn Scofield (@NewsCarolyn) Photo from Carolyn Scofield (@NewsCarolyn)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers performs an annual operation Monday to help cut back on erosion along the Mississippi River.

Crews will be laying massive concrete mats near the Carrollton band. The mats are brought in on a huge vessel and placed along the riverbank up to 800 feet out into the water. They help protect both the bank and the levee from erosion to keep the river navigable for all the traffic that uses it daily.

"There are four overhead cranes that grab these mats off the supply barge and move it into position to be laid. Each barge contains 585 squares of concrete that weigh 950 tons," explains Rene Poche with the Corps.

The Mississippi River is quite low at the moment. That low water level actually helps the Corps with laying the mats. In years past they've not been able to sometimes because of the high water.

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