Coast Guard reports 72 breakaway barges on swollen Ohio River

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(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, Pa., and Moundsville, W.Va., on Sunday.

Approximately 38 of the reported 45 breakaway barges from fleeting areas at mile maker 94 on the Ohio River near Moundsville have been recovered and secured.

Twenty-five 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, and five of the barges were reported to have gone over Emsworth Lock and Dam.

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.

“The Coast Guard is working in tandem with our federal and industry stakeholders to account for all barges involved in both incidents and to facilitate the reopening of the waterways and the resumption of commerce,” said Cmdr. Leon McClain Jr., the captain of the port of Pittsburgh.

By Professional Mariner Staff