NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Coast Guard is continuing to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and Magnolia Marine involved in the barge allision that took place at the Natchez-Vidalia U.S. 84 Bridge, near Natchez, Thursday.
Initial assessments of the damaged barge have indicated that two voids were breached in the incident, downgrading the maximum potential clarified oil discharged to approximately 200,000 gallons.
Response crews from E3 Environmental took preliminary soundings of the two damaged voids. Crews estimate that approximately 76,000 gallons of clarified oil mixture was unaccounted for after the incident.
The Coast Guard has completed an overflight for assessment from mile markers 290 to 364 and no pollution was observed. NOAA is assisting with assessments to locate potentially impacted areas.
Thursday, the towing vessel Amy Frances was transporting six barges, four reportedly loaded with clarified oil and two reported to be empty, which allided with the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge.
The allision caused damage to at least one barge containing clarified oil mixture and discharged an unknown amount into the Mississippi River. An oily sheen was reportedly observed in the vicinity of the allision.
The Caption of the Port has issued a waterway restriction from mile marker 363 near Natchez to mile marker 438 near Vicksburg. The restriction is for towboats pushing barges to not transit under the bridges.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.