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Barge Freed from Columbia River Mud

by Associated Press
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 10, 2009

Workers in white hardhats and orange vests check over a barge that ran aground on the Columbia River during the night. (Oregonian photo) HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- After two days mired in Columbia River mud near Hood River, Ore., a barge carrying one million gallons of gasoline has been freed.

Federal officials had tried raising the river level behind Bonneville Dam to float the New Dawn free Thursday, but that didn't work. So the Oregonian reports Friday was spent pumping gasoline out of the grounded barge and into a second, empty barge at a rate of as much as 75,000 gallons an hour.

Holly Robinson, a spokeswoman for vessel owner Tidewater Barge Lines, declared, "She's free" Friday evening. The barge is proceeding toward its Pasco, Wash., destination.

The 284-foot-long vessel ran aground early Thursday in the Columbia just off the mouth of Hood River about 60 miles east of Portland, as a tug transported it upstream with several other barges.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the mishap.

Both the Coast Guard and Tidewater have said inspections of the barge's double hull showed no damage.

Information from: The Oregonian

Associated Press
Barge Freed from Columbia River Mud
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 10, 2009

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