Coast Guard closes section of Mississippi after barge mishap

The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday, Jan. 21, reported a section of the Mississippi River near West Point a la Hache, Louisiana remained closed as it continued its response to a 22-barge breakaway.

All 22 barges were loaded with coal and petroleum coke, and have since been accounted for. All but one of the barges had been secured and salvage operations were underway on Thursday morning to secure the final barge. The cause for the incident remains under investigation, according to a Coast Guard news release.

The Coast Guard expects to reopen the waterway once the section from mile markers 50 – 53 are deemed safe for navigation.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at