More than five dozen barges have reportedly broken free due to ice and high water at two separate locations on the Ohio River.
So far 59 of the 62 breakaway barges have been recovered, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, who said it is working alongside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and industry partners in response to the incidents near Pittsburgh, Pa., and Moundsville, W.Va.
By Monday, 34 of the reported 35 breakaway barges from fleeting areas at mile maker 94 near Moundsville have been recovered and secured, while 25 of the 27 breakaway barges from Jack’s Run Fleeting area at mile marker 4 near Pittsburgh have been accounted for, and security video has shown seven of the barges went over Emsworth Lock & Dam.
There are no reports of significant damage to Emsworth Lock & Dam and no environmental concerns from pollution, the Coast Guard said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun icebreaking operations at Emsworth Lock and Dam to open the area for salvage crews.
Risk of channel obstructions has led the Coast Guard to establish two safety zones and full waterway closures from mile marker 93 to mile marker 110 and mile marker 2 to mile marker 20 on the Ohio River.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to use side-scan sonar to survey the area and to assess the condition of the channel and look for possible obstructions Tuesday depending on weather and river conditions.