U.S.S. Kidd to Leave Baton Rouge for a Year as It Goes in for Repairs
If you want to visit the U.S.S. Kidd in Baton Rouge, you might want to do that sooner than later.
The Fletcher-class museum ship that once served in World War II could be making its first voyage since arriving in Baton Rouge in 1982.
According to Parks Stephenson, the Executive Director at the U.S.S. Kidd Museum, the ship is passed due for an overhaul.
"The river's been down lower than it has been historically," Stephenson told WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge. "So, she's spending more and more time out of the water. We're experiencing breaches in the hull, which are flooding."
If you've passed by the ship recently, you've probably seen it not in the water but on it. The Kidd usually floats on the Mississippi River, but the river is low and you see it sitting on its supports. Those supports are taking on more weight and experiencing damage.
The much-needed repairs will likely take place in New Orleans and will cost roughly $6.3 million. However, to get the ship there, the Mississippi River will need to be high enough for the ship to float off its supports and down the river.
Conversely, the river will need to be high enough for the vessel to safely return back to its home in Baton Rouge.
Exactly when is this all going to happen?
That's still to be determined.
"We have not yet picked the shipyard," Stephenson said. "There's going to be a competition for it, but it will be some place south that can accommodate a ship that size [and] do the work on an 80-year-old technology."
The U.S.S. Kidd is a major attraction in Louisiana's Capital City. It is the second-most visited attraction in Baton Rouge behind Tiger Stadium.
Once moved, you may still be able to visit the U.S.S. Kidd
Stephenson is already thinking of ways to continue to bring in guests to enjoy the ship.
"I'd like to keep the museum not just open, I'd like to keep it active," he said. "I do have plans to make this museum and this ship more of an attraction."
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