River reopens after towboat hits I-20 bridge

VICKSBURG — The Mississippi River re-opened this morning in Vicksburg after barges hit the old U.S. Highway 80 railroad bridge.

Coast Guard Lt. Ryan Gomez says that there was enough water covering a barge that sank yesterday to allow other vessels to safely pass through. After the river re-opened at 9:30 a.m. CDT, the coast guard began clearing 119 southbound vessels first and then planned to move 233 waiting northbound vessels.

About 30 barges broke free yesterday and one sank. Gomez says that barge contained petroleum coke, which he says is a byproduct in the oil refinement process.

No injuries were reported. Gomez says the cause of the accident hasn’t yet been determined. He says that weather conditions, operator error, and river conditions could have played a part in the accident.

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