UPDATE (4 p.m.):

The Huey P. Long bridge in Jefferson Parish is reopened in both directions after being hit by a vessel's antenna on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Causeway Police Department.

The CPD announced the bridge's reopening in a tweet at 4 p.m. saying the incident has cleared. 

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. when the highest point of a ship named "Clio" hit the bridge while heading north to a tank terminal in St. Rose, the New Orleans/Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association said to WWL-TV.

Steve Hawthorn, of the pilots association, told WWL-TV the incident was a "direct result of the high river level." 

The bridge was closed for nearly 3 hours before reopening. 


The Huey P. Long bridge in Jefferson Parish is closed in both directions after it was hit by a vessel's antenna on Wednesday afternoon.

All lanes of the bridge closed before 1:30 p.m., according to a tweet from the Causeway Police Department.

Coast Guard advised officials that the bridge was struck, according to a tweet from Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts.

A Jefferson Parish spokeswoman clarified that a boat did not strike the bridge, but an antenna hit the underside of the bridge.

It appears to be cosmetic damage. DOTD is checking the bridge for any structural problems. It remains closed.

The bridge will remain closed as a precautionary measure for a three hours assessment, Roberts shared on Facebook at 2:40 p.m.

"There does not seem to be any damage to the bridge at this time. However, it is necessary given it is a train bridge as well to have it fully inspected," Roberts said.

The Mississippi River has recently become swollen by recent heavy rainfall, particularly in the Ohio River Valley, prompting the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Wednesday morning.

The river is now above 15.5 feet and rising toward the 17-foot height that the levees in the New Orleans area are designed to handle. The heights are measured against sea level.

The spillway is opened whenever the flow of the river reaches 1.25 million cubic feet per second, a rate that would fill the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in less than two minutes and roughly corresponds with the 17-foot river height.

This report will be updated.