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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa • Page 91

Des Moines, Iowa
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Extracted Article Text (OCR)

How Modern Towboats Conquer Fog and Storm I. -yf turn i I CAPT. J. H. SIMPSON piloting the Kansas City, has the latest in modern scientific devices to help him.

Object at his right which looks like a huge inverted funnel is the radar box. On its translucent circular screen, the shore, barges, buoys and other objects stand out white and luminous. THE SLEEK KANSAS CITY, here en route to Nebraska City, Neb, is one of the tow-boats helping set records on the Missouri River this year. Waterway supporters say 1,000 tons of steel shipped from Chicago to Omaha by barge saves 10,000 in transportation costs. Last year 5,000 tons of steel pipe were shipped by all water route from Houston, Tex, to Omaha at a saving said to have been 33,000.

Other proportionate savings are also cited. i jzrzk I 1. RELIEF ENGINEER Thomas Per checks up on one of the two diesel engines. THESE ARE THE BARGES as seen from front of pilot's house. On this trip up from Houston the Kansas City was hauling 4,000 tons of molasses, and 25 tons of nails.

Flat-bottomed, with as little draw as possible, the towboats and their barges skim along through water less than six feet deep. The Lachlan Macleay has a draft of five feet, six inches. But deeper channels permit heavier loads on the barges. With the new dams going into operation in North and South Dakota, army engineers send down additional water in the dry seasons. But rainfall shortages upstream now hold these water releases to the minimum needed for barge line operation.

History is beginning to repeat on the Missouri the story of success on the Mississippi. Last year about 6'2 million tons of freight moved through the Quad-cities, the fifteenth year since the Mississippi's nine-foot channel was completed. Back in 1933, the Mississippi tonnage was' a half million the amount expected on the Missouri this year. (Continued from page side and rear paddles. Largest and most powerful towboat on the Missouri is the Federal Barge lines' new Lachlan Macleay, which recently completed her first trip up the river to Omaha.

To increase her maneuverability the Lachlan Macleay has 10 rudders. Four of these are at the rear of her four propellers. The other six are mounted just ahead of the "propellers, to facilitate steering operations when backing with barges under tow. Four 900-horsepower diesels drive the Lachlan Macleay and her tows up the Missouri. TO SIOUX CITY IN THE FUTURE Eventually the Missouri will have a nine-foot channel to Sioux Gty.

Dormant operating rights to Sioux City already have been acquired by the Sioux City and New Orleans line, although two years or more probably will lapse before barge traffic moves above Omaha. PAGE 4-DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER JUNE 5. 1955 Some barge operators forecast an ultimate 8 million tons on the Missouri by 1965. FLOOD THREAT NEARLY GONE Navigation is but one phase of the Missouri river development. The upstream hydraulic generating plants already are sending electrical power over thousands of square miles.

Northwest Iowa power co-operatives are among the users. With the threat of flood from the upper streams now almost entirely removed, farmers of western Iowa are clearing river bottom land of willows and putting it under cultivation in areas where flood threats would have made this too great a risk only a few years ago. A river which once sprawled uncontrolled across its valley now is the source of new economic promise for western Iowa and the many communities in other states which lie along its banks and in its valleys..

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