Unified command continues response to barge breakaways on Ohio River

PITTSBURGH – A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, United States Army Corps of Engineers and industry partners is continuing its response to barge breakaways on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Moundsville, West Virginia.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing ice-breaking and removal operations at Emsworth Lock and Dam to open the area for salvage crews.

A new ice pack flowed into the Emsworth Lock and Dam area bringing more ice to that location.

Mariners are advised to be cautious of potential heavy ice flows resulting from the ice breaking efforts at Emsworth Lock and Dam.

25 of the 27 breakaway barges from Jack’s Run Fleeting area at mile marker 4 on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh have been accounted for.

After reviewing security video at Emsworth Lock and Dam, the two unaccounted-for barges are reported to be located above the dam.

34 of the 35 barges that broke away from fleeting areas at mile maker 94 on the Ohio River near Moundsville have been located.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers surveyed the surrounding area with side-scan sonar to assess the condition of the channel and look for possible obstructions.

The results of the survey were inconclusive.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to use side-scan sonar to survey the area and to assess the condition of the channel and look for possible obstructions Wednesday depending on weather and river conditions.

The Coast Guard continues to monitor the situation in both locations.

The barges broke away due to ice and high water.

There are no reports of significant damage to Emsworth Lock and Dam and no environmental concerns from pollution.

Two safety zones, full waterway closures, have been established from mile marker 93 to mile marker 110 and mile marker 2 to mile marker 20 on the Ohio River due to risk of channel obstructions.

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