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Drought causes closure of Dorena-Hickman Ferry

Drought causes closure of Dorena-Hickman Ferry

Severe drought conditions along the Mississippi River have forced the shutdown of the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.
Service was halted at 9 a.m. Saturday due to the low water on the Mississippi River at Hickman, Ky., and the ferry will remain out of service until the water level rises significantly on the river.
Captain Ed Floyd said water at the mouth of the Hickman Harbor is about five to six feet deep at this time, according to a news release. The ferry needs about seven feet of water to operate safely, according to Floyd.
The river gauge at Cairo was 12.58 feet Saturday morning. With the region in a severe drought at about 12 inches below normal rainfall, Floyd said until there is sufficient rain to raise the river level about a foot the ferry will remain closed.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge is scheduled to come to Hickman to improve water depth in the harbor. However, the dredge has about a week of work to complete near Memphis before it can travel upstream on the Mississippi to start work at Hickman. In the meantime, the Dorena-Hickman Ferry will remain closed.
“We will attempt to provide timely notice when the ferry is able to resume service,” the news release stated.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry connects KY 1354 at Hickman with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Mo.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry normally operates from the Hickman Landing with regular river crossings during daylight hours. Passage for passenger vehicles is $14 with additional tolls for trucks, motor homes and vehicles pulling trailers. There are discounts for vehicles making return crossings.
Missouri and Kentucky enjoy the geographic distinction of being the only border states that are not directly connected by a road. The only direct route between the two states is the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.
For more info on the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and a schedule of operating hours go to http://www.dorena-hickmanferryboat.com. Motorists can also check on the ferry’s operating status by calling (731) 693-0210.

Published in The Messenger 6.25.12

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