Associated Press

At least 26 vessels got caught in the "traffic jam."

An oil spill shut down a 65-mile-long portion of the Mississippi River last night, taking the Port of New Orleans out of commission as a cleanup crew deals with the mess. 

According to officials, an oil barge crashed into a towboat between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Nobody was injured in the crash and the barges have been secured, but the closure caused a river-based traffic jam, holding up 26 vessels as of last night. The river supplies drinking water for nearby St. Charles, and intakes were shut off as a precaution, but Parish officials said on Sunday that "the water supply in St. Charles Parish remains safe."

Officials say only a sheen of oil has been reported, but that they don't know how much oil was actually spilled, and are planning a conference call today to figure out how long it will take for the river to reopen. Cost Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough told the Associated Press that the barge was being pushed by the Hannah C. Settoon tugboat when it hit the grain-barge-pushing Lindsay Ann Erickson tug. The Settoon is a 84.5-foot-long boat built in 2010 and owned by Louisiana-based Settoon Towing. 

Louisiana suffered greatly from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a massive leak that spilled millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and still has BP and a Louisiana oil spill wrapped up in litigation

Readers will be pleased to hear that despite the trouble, the Carnival Sunshine and Norwegian Jewel cruise ships shipped out of the port early Sunday. Hope those cruises aren't feces- and virus-laced per usual.

This post originally appeared on The Wire. More from our partner site:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.
    Environment

    Why the Amazon Is on Fire

    The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

  2. Graduates react near the end of commencement exercises at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Life

    Where Do College Grads Live? The Top and Bottom U.S. Cities

    Even though superstar hubs top the list of the most educated cities, other cities are growing their share at a much faster rate.

  3. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  4. Transportation

    Atlanta’s Big Transit Vote Is a Referendum on Race

    As suburban Gwinnett County weighs a MARTA expansion, changing demographics and politics may decide the Georgia capital's transportation future.

  5. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

×