At least two barges sink after hitting bridge in Vicksburg

This a screenshot from the Vicksburg Distrit PAO of the MDOT camera near the river in Vicksburg. A barge can be seen hitting the Old Highway 80 Bridge.

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – Things are finally back to normal in Vicksburg after barges slammed into the railroad bridge this morning and the rising water of the Mississippi River could be the reason it happened.

The rising water in the Mississippi River is not just a problem for people living here in Vicksburg.

A tow boat pulling 22 barges slammed into the bridge.

John Elfer, the Director of the Warren County Emergency Operations Center tells us this incident happened just after 8:00 a.m.

The barges were being carried southbound when they were broken up; at least two sinking into the river.

Others drifting away containing dry product believed to be grain or coal.

“High water, we always have an issue this time of year obviously we are almost 50 feet on the Vicksburg gage and it’s extremely dangerous on this river when these pilots are working 30 to 40 barges at a time,” Elfer said.

Elfer stressed it is very dangerous for people moving products by water.

He believes the final bend in the river just before the bridge may have been a factor in the collision.

There was just minimal damage to this 86 year-old-bridge used only for train traffic.

About 12 trains cross this bridge daily.

Today, just a fraction of that number crossed.

This a screenshot from the Vicksburg Distrit PAO of the MDOT camera near the river in Vicksburg. A barge can be seen hitting the Old Highway 80 Bridge.
This a screenshot from the Vicksburg District PAO of the MDOT camera near the river in Vicksburg. A barge can be seen hitting the Old Highway 80 Bridge.

 

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