Coast Guard reopens Mississippi River after allision cleanup

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Coast Guard has reopened the portion of the Lower Mississippi River that was closed after a towing vessel allided with the I-155 bridge in Carruthersville, Mo., Monday.

The river was reopened at aproximately 9 p.m. after the 20 grain barges that broke free were safely rounded up. The barge that was taking on water has been dewatered and pumps are keeping up with the flooding.

At approximately 5 p.m., the Coast Guard received a call from a crewmember aboard the towing vessel Joyce Hale, that while pushing 20 loaded grain barges, it allided with the I-155 bridge near Carruthersville. The crewmember also reported the allision caused all 20 barges to break away and that one barge is taking on water.

Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River closed the Mississippi River from mile marker 840 to 833 to facilitate recovery of the barges.

Local authorities have closed the bridge to vehicular traffic until the bridge can be inspected by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River is investigating the cause of the incident and no pollution or injuries were reported.

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