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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:13 PM

Oil spills after two barges strike Mississippi River bridge



"Oil spilled into the Mississippi River after two oil barges hit a bridge near Vicksburg, Miss., early Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The barges, laden with crude oil, were being pulled by the tow boat Nature's Way Endeavor when they hit the Vicksburg Railroad bridge and were damaged, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a release.

One of the barges began spewing oil into the river, officials said. It was unclear how much oil was spilled. The U.S. Coast Guard said the source of the spill, a leaking tank filled with 80,000 gallons of crude oil, had been "contained." "

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-oil-spill-mississippi-20130127,0,6127077.story

13 replies, 1046 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Oil spills after two barges strike Mississippi River bridge (Original post)
wtmusic Jan 2013 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Jan 2013 #1
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #2
Nihil Jan 2013 #6
ChairmanAgnostic Jan 2013 #9
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #10
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #12
ChairmanAgnostic Jan 2013 #13
NickB79 Jan 2013 #3
zeaper Jan 2013 #4
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #5
Nihil Jan 2013 #7
wtmusic Jan 2013 #8
HooptieWagon Jan 2013 #11

Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:38 PM

1. "Nature's Way?" Are they serious? I wonder if

the drought's impact on the mississippi river levels had any impact. Tighter spaces to go through?

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:46 PM

2. The width under the bridge should be constant,

No matter the water level. Perhaps there were shoals before or after the bridge that required some turning, and the tug/barges got crossed up and hit the bridge during the course change. Current should be low, probably as low as it ever gets.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:51 AM

6. Sadly, the incompetence of that company also seems to be constant ...

... considering that they managed to hit a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deck barge in 2012
(causing more than $100,000 in damage), damaged the riverbank by a Lousiana hydroelectric
company in 2010 and didn't bother to provide any safety guidance or safety equipment when
sending their people in to help with the BP oil spill.



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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:11 PM

9. Not really. Assuming it is deepest in the center

as most of the river is, falling river levels decrease the width of navigation worthy waters. They are seeing parts of the shore that have not been visible in decades.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:08 PM

10. The passage under a bridge is in the channel.

The bridge piers are vertical, and protected by fenders (usually heavy wooden walls). While the sides of the passage may have a bit less vertical clearance under the bridge than the center, water depth in the channel under the bridge should be fairly constant across the width between the fenders. Usually, you proceed under the bridge in a straight line perpendicular to the bridge. I was pointing out that a shoal in the channel before or after the bridge may have required a course change, and if improperly timed would cause contact with the bridge. A similar situation would exist if the bridge was located at a curve in the channel (really bad planning).
Those barge/tug combinations are pretty limited in their manuvering capabilities. Take a close look at the wooden fenders sometime, they're usually pretty tore up as a result of repeated contact from barges.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 04:16 PM

12. Update...after checking map and pix

It appears the river makes a 90 deg bend just upriver of at least 3 bridges...I-20, US-80, and a RR bridge. The 90 degree bend appears to have been a former ox-bow in the river that was straightened out somewhat (from 180deg to 90deg). I found a pic of the I-20 bridge...the piers are well apart and unprotected by fenders. I could not find pix of the other bridges, but the RR bridge (which the barge hit) probably has piers much closer together.
As I suspected, the barges/tug had to make a big turn just before passing under the three (at least) bridges. This is some tricky manuvering, since it might take a minute or so for the barges to actually start turning after the turn is initiated. Imagine driving down a curvy road in your car, but the car doesn't turn until a minute after you turn the steering wheel, or drive straight for a minute after you straighten the wheel. That's the sort of lack of manuverability we're discussing. I'm amazed there aren't more tug/barge accidents (there are, but the majority are minor and not reported in news).

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 04:30 PM

13. I sit in awe when those huge barges move around.

One time, after a particularly trying expert deposition in Ohio, I was looking for a local watering hole to replenish my rapidly fading blood alcohol level. After staring unforgivably at the beautiful waitpersonstaffgirltress I looked up to see this
REALLY GIANT SHIP
moving along the Cayahoga. This thing was HUGE! Immense! I could not see how it could fit. It's just me. Despite logging hundreds of thousands of miles flying, I still as impressed when I see a 747 take off. Regardless of whether I am inside it or not.

My jaw dropped so obviously that the waitpersonstaffgirltress could not stop giggling at my reaction.

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Response to wtmusic (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:01 PM

3. Isn't a lot of the oil from N. Dakota shipped by barge?

Fucking the environment every step of the way.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:08 PM

4. That is why we need more pipe lines

Like the Keystone pipe line that is about to be built. Sometimes they leak but a pipe is much less prone to problems than a barge, a truck or a train.

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Response to zeaper (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:03 PM

5. Or less oil

 

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:53 AM

7. Now, now ...

... don't go upsetting one of our long-time sleeper trolls who's only just been
reactivated after clearing their alert slate!


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Response to zeaper (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:40 PM

8. I don't need any pipe lines.

Do you need pipe lines?

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:30 PM

11. If properly maintained, pipelines much safer than shipping

if we're talking about inland waterways. And much cheaper than rail or highway transport. Super tankers are very cheap and safe when at sea, but vulnerable near coastlines. However, shipping oil by supertanker from the Dakotas is an impossibility.
All in all, pipelines are the best way of transporting crude, considering cost and safety. Their difficulty lies in locating them, and holding BigOil accountable for their maintainence.

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