Cleanup continues on barge oil spill - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Cleanup continues on barge oil spill

River traffic on the Mississippi is halted in both directions while crews work to remove oil spilled during a barge accident.

The U. S. Coast E.P.A. and other agencies have five response vessels on the Louisiana side of the river where oil spilled from a ruptured tank aboard a barge early Sunday.

The clean up and recovery effort is a 24 hour operation.

The tank holds 80,000 gallons, but officials don't know how much entered the river.

Crews are skimming the oil from the water and monitoring the oil level inside the ruptured tank.

Gary Born of Rockwall Texas stops at the Vicksburg Welcome Center when he makes the 12 hour trip to Atlanta for work.

He is among the visitors worried about the spill's affect on the river.

"I saw the barges sitting way over here and was curious...Naturally you're always concerned about the environmental situations like this but for it to happen so close to home. You always hear about it down in New Orleans and the like or down on the gulf coast," said Born.

"Anytime that that's an oil spill any amount, always there is gonna be some environmental impact. There's gonna be concern. We're working on finding out the estimated amount that has been discharged," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Monday night a vessel was still en route to Vicksburg to unload the remaining oil from the ruptured tank.

Traffic along Interstate 20 was not affected.  Investigators say the bridge has been found safe for rail travel.  

An oily sheen was reported down river of the accident but booms were used to absorb the spill.

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