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Economic and dam related articles

Gas Barge Still Stuck One Day Later

by Staff
KPTV, July 10, 2009

HOOD RIVER, Ore. -- Tugboat crews and the Coast Guard were unable to free a barge that ran aground in the Columbia River on Thursday.

The barge is laden with 1 million gallons of gasoline, which has forced Tidewater Barge Lines to call out an empty barge to the site. Crews will transfer the gasoline to the empty barge to make it lighter and to free the barge from the sand.

So far, there has not been an environment impact from the barge running aground, but Coast Guard officials said the amount of gasoline on board makes for a tense and delicate operation.

"We want to safely manage the situation and mitigate the environmental threat," said Capt. Fred Myer of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Several agencies are involved in the efforts to free the barge. While crews work to make the barge lighter, the Corps of Engineers will redirect water to increase the depth.

"That won't make a huge difference, but over (the course) of six to eight hours, it might make up to a 12-inch difference to increase the draft and make it easier to pull this barge off," Myer said.

Kiteboarders in the Hood River area said it remains a mystery why the barge was so close to shore.

"The barge lane is (way out there) so it makes you wonder what the guy was doing way in here," said Jazmin Delille, a local kitesurfer.

The barge was one of four being transported by a tugboat through the Columbia River on Thursday when it ran aground at 3:48 a.m. The other three barges were empty.

The cause is still under investigation.

Gas Barge Still Stuck One Day Later
KPTV, July 10, 2009

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