Barge MM-46 Response efforts continue near Natchez

The towing vessels Kathy Azlin and Amy Frances are staged next to the damaged MM-46 barge for lightening operations on the Mississippi River near Natchez, Jan. 22, 2016. Response crews continually conducted soundings of the damaged tanks on the MM-46 barge to determine the amount of clarified oil spill. (Courtesy photo by Adam Davis, NOAA)

The towing vessels Kathy Azlin and Amy Frances are staged next to the damaged MM-46 barg. (Courtesy photo by Adam Davis, NOAA)

NATCHEZ, Miss. — The Barge MM-46 Response Unified Command continues its response efforts in the vicinity of the incident near Natchez, Monday.

Response crews are scheduled to remove the damaged barge from the incident site Monday morning. Crews are taking the barge to Vicksburg for damage assessment and repairs.

Crews completed lightering operations removing the remaining clarified oil from the damaged barge at 7:20 p.m., Saturday. Crews removed a total of more than 700,000 gallons of clarified oil from the damaged barge to two Magnolia Marine Transport barges. They estimate that more than 24,600 gallons of oil is still unaccounted for.

Response crews will continue to monitor the area around the incident site for any pollution from the damaged barge and will cleanup the oil as the river levels drop.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were unable to locate the missing clarified oil using side-scanning sonar on Saturday.

Capt. Timothy Wendt, commander, Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River and Captain of the Port, has re-opened the river near the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge to all vessel traffic.

If the public suspects they see pollution they are encouraged to call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

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