The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating to make sure the last of the 22 barges that broke free near West Point a la Hache just before 1 p.m. Wednesday isn’t a hazard to Mississippi River navigation as traffic on the river continues to back up Thursday.
As of noon, three miles of the river continued to be closed and there were 21 vessels waiting to head south and 18 waiting to head up river.
Only one of the 22 coal and petroleum coke barges that broke free remains unsecured and that one is pushed up against the left descending bank of the Mississippi River, according to a press release from the Coast Guard.
Three deep-draft vessels were damaged after they were hit by some of the barges that had broken free. Some dry-bulk soy beans from one of these vessels went into the river, but all three vessels have been safely anchored, according to the Coast Guard. The incident is currently under investigation.