Coast Guard reopens section of Mississippi River affected by fuel spill

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Coast Guard on Friday lifted its waterway restriction on the Mississippi River near New Orleans.

The Unified Command, consisting of the Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office, Gallagher Marine, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and response personnel, are continuing cleanup efforts.

The vessel Pac Antares struck a pier Thursday near Nashville Avenue Wharf, releasing over 4,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the river.

"We are grateful for the cooperation between all members of the unified command and their efforts to quickly restore commerce and minimize environmental impact," said Capt. Wayne Arguin, commander, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

The Unified Command is preparing for Saturday's weather and the Coast Guard said cleanup operations will continue as long as it is safe to do so. The Unified Command has deployed 121 people, 29 boats and six skimmers to remove oil from affected waterways and shorelines.

Air monitoring continues, and air quality remains safe.

There have been no reports of affected wildlife.

For questions related to the Pac Antares, call 1-845-721-0802.

For claims related to the incident, including vessel decontamination, call 1-888-850-8486.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

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