Slurry oil spill causes Mississippi River closure

SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 —The Mississippi River yesterday remained closed to all traffic except response vessels between mile markers 939-922. A queue was in place, six up bound and nine down bound.

In an update today (see story) the Coast Guard said the closure remained in place and that as of 10:50 a.m., 23 vessels were awaiting transit down river and 10 were awaiting transit up

The closure came after Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley watchstanders received a call about a collision between two towboats at mile marker 937 at 8:22 p.m. local time September 2.

The collision caused damage to a barge containing clarified slurry oil.

The barge reportedly had a maximum potential of 1.05 million gallons of clarified slurry oil, but on-scene assessment teams yesterday reported the maximum estimated potential clarified slurry oil released from the tug collision is now 250,000 gallons.

A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed wing aircraft conducted an over flight earlier yesterday, that revealed a five-mile discoloration beginning at the impact site.Response efforts continue and the cause of the collision is currently under investigation.

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