ST. JOSEPH – A ship carrying limestone had trouble reaching a St. Joseph River’s dock in Benton Harbor because of all the sand and sediment build-up underwater.
"We're all on the verge," said Pete Berghoff who owns Dock 63.
It’s easy to see why Berghoff is concerned. There is a lot of empty space on his dock, and that is a problem. He says ships are having trouble getting into St. Joseph’s inner harbor because of sand and sediment underwater. The most recent case happened on Wednesday.
"She approached the channel and touched the bottom," he said. "I was watching. This boat was so important to us."
Last year there was 48,000 to 50,000 tons of road salt and right now there is only 8,000 tons. There was 65,000 tons of limestone last year but today there are only 3,000.
Jack Kinney put Benton Harbor on the map when he opened Central Dock 75 years ago. He called on the Army Corp of Engineers for help but the federal government said the inner harbor has not reached the million ton minimum to qualify for aid since 2001.