UPDATED: Coast Guard closes Mississippi after tow boat accident; crest lowered to 50.2 feet
Published 1:22 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The U.S. Coast Guard has closed a section of the Mississippi River from the Interstate 20/old U.S. 80 bridges north for 9 miles, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
And, the National Weather Service has lowered the crest level for Vicksburg to 50.2 feet, expecting the crest on Friday. The crest level was lowered to 50.5 feet on Sunday.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Brian Porter said the section of the river was shut down about 12:14 p.m. after a 23-barge tow struck the U.S. 80 bridge. It was the second time in as many days a tow has struck the old U.S. 80 bridge.
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Porter said two barges broke from the tow after impact, adding a barge carrying grain sunk after the accident. Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer said the tow was pushed by the motor vessel Inez Andrea and owned by American River Transportation Co. of Chicago and struck one of the bridge piers on the Mississippi side about 12:05 p.m. today.
Porter said the loose barge was soon corralled.
There were no injuries.