Ship and barge traffic is resuming in the Houston Ship Channel as cleanup efforts continue in the aftermath of a spill that sent thousands of barrels of gasoline blending product into the channel, officials said Sunday.
About 9,000 gallons of gasoline spilled into the Houston Ship Channel near Bayport, Texas, following a collision on Friday between Genesis River, a 755-foot (230-m) tanker, and a Kirby Inland Marine tug boat towing two barges, each containing about 25,000 gallons of gasoline. The gas product is colorless, flammable and toxic to touch, inhale or ingest.
"Air monitoring is being conducted along the shoreline. the first priority of the unified command is public safety", it said".
The Coast Guard says there are no known injuries, but the barge is leaking. The barges were pushing roughly 25,000 barrels of reformate each, according to officials.
The National Weather Service has warned that people living nearby may be able to smell gasoline fumes.
"We are continuing to work with the Coast Guard and the other federal regulators to understand the cause of the incident and will be working to recover any of the spilled product and mitigate the impact on the environment", Guidry said.
"It's a light chemical and it floats on the water, which allows it to evaporate", Galveston Bay Foundation CEO Bob Stokes told KTRK.
The Coast Guard did not have immediately available the number of vessels waiting to enter and exit the Channel on Monday morning.
The transport channel used to be closed in the location of the accident.
"We don't know the cause of the incident at this time", said Oditt.
Residents in the coastal community of League City could smell a strong odor of gasoline Friday night but air monitors did not detect chemicals in the air, the city said in a statement.