26 barges break loose and float down the Ohio River

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Pittsburgh officials closed two bridges after more than two dozen barges broke loose late Friday and floated uncontrolled down the Ohio River, some plunging over local dams.
The Ohio River near Pittsburgh has experienced flooding in the last day.
As of Saturday afternoon, seven barges came to rest at the dam, the Army Corps said.
They were retrieved and secured by tugboat, the Army Corps said.
The missing barge is thought to be between the two dams, according to Vernon of the Army Corps.
Pittsburgh officials said the barges are owned or operated by the Campbell Transportation Company, located just downstream along the Ohio River from the McKees Rocks Bridge.
Late Friday night, the National Weather Services extended a flood warning for the Ohio River near Pittsburgh.
The cause for the barges going loose remains unclear, though the Army Corps believes high water levels played a factor.


After more than twenty barges broke loose late Friday and floated uncontrollably down the Ohio River, some of which plunged over nearby dams, Pittsburgh officials closed two bridges.

at approximately 11:30 p.m. M. authorities responded to 26 barges that were navigating downstream. Authorities stated that although there were no hazardous materials on board, 23 of the barges carried cargo, including coal, and one carried fertilizer. Three of the barges were empty.

As of Saturday afternoon, one barge that was carrying coal was still missing, according to Carol Vernon, a representative for the U. s. USA TODAY was informed by the Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District. Although they can’t begin searching until the river’s conditions change, officials think the missing barge sank, she added. In the past day, there has been flooding along the Ohio River near Pittsburgh.

According to her, “how safely it can be done is more important than how quickly we can recover these barges.”.

As of right now, there are no known cases of barges colliding with bridges or pollution in the U.S. S. Coast Guard Lt. j. g. USA TODAY was told by Eyobe Mills.

He said that until all of the barges have been recovered, mariners are advised to avoid the area. Water levels must drop before the navigation channel can reopen, according to Vernon.

While there are no casualties, Peggy’s Harbor, which is located on the northern bank of the Ohio River, has sustained significant damage.

Approximately two miles west of Pittsburgh’s downtown, officials closed the rail bridge leading to Brunot Island. In an attempt to exercise caution, the McKees Rocks Bridge further west was briefly closed. On Saturday morning, both reopened. At first, city officials stated that only the bridges over Brunot Island and McKees Rocks had closed, omitting mention of the West End Bridge.

The McKees Rocks Police Department posted on social media, saying, “They may or may not come into contact with sub-structure, but we are not willing to take the risk.”.

The Army Corps of Engineers stated in a social media post on Saturday afternoon that it was ensuring the safety of barge crews and staff while assessing facilities for damage.

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The Baltimore bridge collapse occurred weeks prior to the barge incident.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed just over two weeks ago when a sizable cargo ship near Baltimore lost power and struck it, leading to the closure of the bridge. Concerns regarding the safety of other U.S. citizens were raised by the bridge collapse. s. spans. Pittsburgh, a formerly industrial city in Pennsylvania, is well-known for the famous bridges that cross numerous rivers within and outside of the city.

According to city officials, 11 barges have been found so far, pinned along the riverbank by Brunot Island, and are being held by a tugboat. Fourteen went further down the river.

Nine passed over Brunot Island and the Emsworth Dam, which is located approximately 4 miles downstream. The Army Corps reported that as of Saturday afternoon, seven barges had grounded at the dam. Because of the river’s conditions, one empty barge sank and another broke away.

Only four survived to cross the Dashields Dam, which is about seven miles from the Emsworth Dam. According to the Army Corps, they were located and secured using a tugboat.

Vernon of the Army Corps believes the missing barge is somewhere between the two dams.

Authorities in Pittsburgh stated that the Campbell Transportation Company, which is situated immediately downstream from the McKees Rocks Bridge on the Ohio River, is the owner or operator of the barges. On Saturday morning, the company did not promptly respond to a call or message.

The Ohio River near Pittsburgh was under a flood warning, according to the National Weather Services, late on Friday night. At midnight, the river level rose to 25 feet, overflowing the flood stage.

Due to high water, river navigation had been discontinued. The Army Corps thinks high water levels had a role in the barges going loose, although the exact cause is still unknown. The unaccounted-for vessel is still the Coast Guard’s top priority.

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