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Str. SPRAGUE - Picture of the Week

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Old 01-14-2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Str. SPRAGUE - Picture of the Week

Lou Shornick's fine photo of the Str. SPRAGUE in 1973 certainly brings back memories! I well recall that spring when the Mississippi was on a rampage and the SPRAGUE, just back from getting her very deteriorated hull replated at the Avondale yard in New Orleans, was floating HIGH. I have a number of color slides quite similar to the image taken by Lou, and I remember a reporter/photographer from The Vicksburg Post being there who took my picture standing on the gangplank. Just a couple of days after my parents and I were aboard the SPRAGUE, the river rose all the way to the floodwall, the gates were installed and the boat was closed. I also remember seeing on national television news that a big problem was with hundreds of snakes, many of them cottonmouths, being driven to high ground by the flood and some of them going right up into downtown Vicksburg!

The hull replating was the first phase of a complete restoration of the Str. SPRAGUE, with the upperworks next on the agenda. But then came the night of April 15, 1974 and the "BIG MAMA" went up in flames.

A tragedy occurred the same week as our visit when the towboat LADY REE hit the Vicksburg bridge and rolled over. None of her crew survived.

Thanks to Lou for sharing the great picture of the SPRAGUE!

Last edited by Keith Norrington; 01-14-2008 at 03:08 PM.
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