Traffic on the Mississippi River was started, then stopped, then started again this week as efforts continued to both clean up the massive 400,000 gallon oil spill along 100 miles of the lower Mississippi, but also to raise the barge which held the oil. Latest reports from the Coast Guard investigation indicated that the captain of the tugboat guiding the oil barge wasn’t even on the tugboat at the time of the collision with a tanker. Estimates are that almost 140,000 gallons of spilled oil mixed with water have been collected as of Saturday morning.
Some more figures: over 2,000 people are working the spill, using three tugs, 159 work boats, four barges, 20 skimmers and 13 vacuum trucks. About 155,000 feet of containment boom and absorbent boom are being used.
Sunday morning, clean-up traffic on the French Quarter riverfront was crowded, showing the intensity of the time-consuming effort. The rip-rap (boulders used to line the earthen levee) near the Toulouse Street pier showed the oil damage as the river level has fallen over the last week.
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