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The Associated Press spent the day on the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans with the U.S. Army Corps ...
of Engineers and was granted exclusive access to the only "mat sinking unit" in the world. (Dec. 12)
Tags:ap,Associated Press,Joel Brown
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This video contains ONLY natural sound. No script is available.DURATION: 1:48-----------------------------------------SHOT LIST:Gonzales, LA December 10, 20121. Workers pull steel coiled wire as the mat sinking unit begins to move2. SOUND: Joel Brown / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"They are laying up a launch right now and once they finish laying this launch up on the deck and assembling it and placing it in they will launch down 25 additional feet."3. Concrete mats are lifted via crane and place into sections to be rolled out on the floor of the river.4. Concrete mats are slowly unraveled in 25 foot increments from the vessel to the river floor.5. SOUND: Joel Brown / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"The low water conditions due to the drought has a large impact on the navigation industry but it's actually adventatious for the work we do on the river to place the articulated concrete revetment."6. Shot pulls out of the concrete mats being unraveled in 25 foot increments to the river floor.7. SOUND: Joel Brown / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"If the river were closed for a significant amount of time you could expect the cost of fuel to go up, the cost of food to go up, so a lot of basic bulk materials would go up in cost if they had to be transported by rail or truck."8. SOUND: Joel Brown / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"Yeah, we are launching down 25 feet of concrete and this concrete will end up on the bottom of the river bank."9. Close-up of the concrete mats being unraveled in 25 foot increments to the river floor.10. SOUND: Joel Brown / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"Without laying revetment concrete on the river you would have an uncontrolled river that would change course that would meander more dramatically each year as much as 800 feet in one direction annually. So, you would have an unstable navigation channel, an unstable bank and possibly unstable levies."11. Angle CU on the boat and pulls out to reveal river and the mat sinking vessel.STORYLINE: On the Mississippi River, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the AP spoke with the Joel Brown, Chief of the Mat Sinking Unit for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.Associated Press spent the day on the river between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and was granted Exclusive access to the only "mat sinking unit" in the world.As the fight to keep commerce flowing up and down the third largest watershed in the world, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is not only dredging but also laying football field sized concrete mats. Each mat is carefully dropped on the banks and rolled out 800 feet on the bottom of the murky waters in some places.250 men and women will be at this until late February, the longest in over ten years because of the 2012 drought and low waters. The Mississippi River is a hostile, ever-changing serpentine of a waterway. Dramatic flooding, droughts and erosion continue to batter and challenge the economic engine. If commerce is halted in December and January the losses could be around 7 billion dollars.The concrete revetment mats have been layed since the 1920's on a 1000 mile stretch, essentially keeping the giant river "in place" and the latest effort is crucial to the flow of barges carrying grain, coal, rocks and more out of the Port of New Orleans and around the world. --------------------------------------------------------------------