22 barge breakaway closes stretch of Mississippi River
NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard says they’re responding to a 22 barge breakaway on the Mississippi River near West Pointe à la Hache.
The Guard reports all 22 barges were loaded with coal and petroleum coke when they broke free at mile marker 54 on the river.
The Mississippi River was closed between mile markers 51 to 54 at 12:58 p.m.
The Coast Guard is continuing to work with the responsible party to ensure that all barges involved in the breakaway are accounted for.
Barge breakaways have occurred with increased frequency as of late due to the high level of the Mississippi. Just last week, six barges broke loose on the river at New Orleans with one of the vessels eventually ending up beached on the bank by the Crescent City Connection Bridge. The cause of this incident remains under investigation with the Coast Guard yet to establish whether river levels were a contributing factor in the breakaway.