News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Tenn-Tom Waterway still closed in Tishomingo County after oil spill (UPDATED 2:16 p.m. Sept. 11, 2019)

Date Posted: 2019-09-11
Source: Ted Stehle, Navigation Alerts Editor

Editor's Note: See Nav Alerts for continuing updates on this story as it continues to unfold.

NEW SITE, Miss.  - The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway remains closed after an accident created a hazardous spill at the Jamie Whitten Lock & Dam.

UPDATE - 9/11/19: A conference call with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) Mobile District confirmes that the oil spill was approximately 117 thousand gallons. Clean up is a two-phased operation.

Phase I is removing the spilled oil. That is going well and may be completed by September 15.

Phase II is washing down the lock chamber, fuel barge and other equipment. That operation is in the planning stage. Crews are working 24/7.

A conference call on September 9 with the Corps Mobile District had projected the closure to last 2 to 3 weeks. The length of time to completion is not known at this time and original 2 to 3 weeks was estimate retracted during the September 11th conference call.

The Jamie Whitten Lock & Dam is located at Bay Springs Lake in Tishomingo County. The lock is east of New Site in Tishomingo County.According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the “vessel accident” happened on Sunday. The merchant vessel was loaded with two barges of crude oil.

The lock is closed to all traffic until further notice. The lock and dam are part of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The oil is contained inside the lock and the Corps of Engineers said there is no threat outside of the lock area.



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