Low river causes Lady Luck to list

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 1999

With the river level continuing to fall, a bulldozer and two tug boats were needed to help push Lady Luck Casino farther into the water Wednesday.

Casino Manager Wendy Grandin said probably no one gambling on board the riverboat casino noticed the vessel was listing to the side just a bit.

&uot;You don’t feel anything inside,&uot; she said.

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The river level, which has been low since last summer, fell more swiftly Tuesday night than Lady Luck officials were expecting.

The boat has been moved periodically over the last few months as the river level rises and falls, Grandin said.

&uot;It fell pretty drastically yesterday,&uot; she said.

The river level was at 18.5 feet Wednesday, down 1.2 feet from the day before.

When officials tried to pull the riverboat casino farther into the water Wednesday, the right side of the boat got hung up on either logs or sand in the river, Grandin said.

It was about 3 p.m. before the boat was far enough into the water to float freely, she said.

&uot;We’ve got plenty of water underneath us and around us,&uot; Grandin said.

No one on board knew what was happening outside, she said.

&uot;It was uneventful,&uot; Grandin said. &uot;When someone wanted to come off or go on we just lowered the ramp.&uot;

The low river level has caused a few problems this year.

The steamboats that tour the river from the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. have been unable to dock in Vicksburg, and earlier this year river traffic was down at the Natchez-Adams County Port.

But the river level is expected to go back up by mid-February, and it isn’t nearly as low as it was 1988, when the water level dipped to 3.9 feet.

The river’s lowest recorded level at Natchez was -1.6 feet in 1940.