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.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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