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With Mississippi River levels low, workers at the USS Kidd can better inspect the destroyer

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BATON ROUGE - If you walk on the levee downtown, you'll see the USS Kidd, which has been a staple in Baton Rouge for decades, attracting people from all over to see the historic destroyer. 

It has been a popular tourist spot in the capital area for a long time. 

"A lot of people stop and pull over on the interstate, and they come down to visit the Kidd. We get people from all over the United States and all over the world to visit the ship," Rosehn Gipe, the executive director of the USS Kidd Veterans Museum, told WBRZ. 

But given the destroyer's age, it needs to be preserved so more tourists can visit the historic ship. 

With water levels very low in the Mississippi River, parts of the ship that are usually underwater, like the hull, are visible. 

Gipe says it allows workers to get a better look at the Kidd that usually is not available. 

"We're always inspecting the hull from the inside out, and when the river gets low, we are visually able to inspect the exterior," Gipe said. 

Gipe says the Kidd is in good shape right now, but there are parts of the hull that need work. 

"She could be better, which is why we are looking to get her to a dry dock to address those points and places where the hull has been stressed and get some repairs done," Gipe said. 

Gipe says it would cost around $3 million to $5 million to take the ship to a dry dock, and they're hoping to raise funds so everyone has a chance to visit the Kidd. 

"She's become a fixture here on the water front, and people love her. We have people coming back as parents where they say, 'I was here as a child, and now we are bringing our kids here to experience this,'" Gipe said. 

If you want to donate to help the Kidd get to a dry dock for repairs, click here.

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