The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has moved in a fifth dredge to dig sediment out of the Southwest Pass, a major shipping connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River.A high river brings down a huge amount of sediment and the dredges are employed to keep the 45-foot channel needed for deep-draft shipping.

Over the weekend, the Port of New Orleans said it had been told by the Coast Guard that shipping probably would continue largely unhindered on the lower Mississippi. The port says the opening of the Morganza spillway is expected to keep the river level at New Orleans at around 17 feet — low enough to avoid major shipping restrictions or closure.