NATCHEZ, Miss. - U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp and Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District commander Col. Jeff Eckstein today to discuss the status of levees following a Coast Guard decision earlier in the week to resume barge traffic along the swollen Mississippi River on a 15-mile stretch at Natchez, Miss., north of New Orleans.

The levees, located on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River, were performing well said Eckstein.

"The levees are performing as designed," said Eckstein. "We're continuing to patrol the local levees and make sure they're able to withstand the high water levels."

The river is expected to crest at Natchez early Saturday at 62.1 feet, down from an earlier prediction of 62.5 feet. The river is expected to remain at 62.1 through Monday before slowly dropping.

Officials say the end of high water will not be the end of this flood's impact, as efforts must be made following the drop to restore the system for the people, communities and industries it protects for future flood events.