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    Coast Guard Reopens Ohio River Near Pittsburgh to Maritime Traffic After Sunken Barge Is Found

    Coast Guard Reopens Ohio River Near Pittsburgh to Maritime Traffic After Sunken Barge Is Found

    The U.S. Coast Guard reopened the Ohio River in Pittsburgh to maritime traffic on Tuesday, nearly four days after 26 barges broke loose and floated away during weekend flooding.

    “The river is open. The Ohio River is open,” Lt. Eyobe Mills told The Associated Press.

    The Coast Guard had barred vessels from a stretch of river north of the after dozens of barges got loose from their moorings late Friday, striking a bridge and smashing a pair of marinas. One of the barges sank and was located by sonar Tuesday, allowing the Coast Guard to restore navigation.

    “We're just advising vessels to steer clear of the area. They can transit, they just need to be cautious of it,” Mills said.

    The barge operator, Campbell Transportation Company Inc., began work to salvage the other barges. Five of seven barges pinned against the Emsworth Locks and Dam were removed Tuesday, according to the company. Crews still have to remove two barges from that dam and another barge that was stuck upstream.

    “We will continue to implement our recovery for the remaining affected vessels, at all times taking into consideration the safety of the recovery workers, the public and the barges,” said Gary Statler, the company's senior vice president for river operations.

    The Coast Guard is investigating how the barges got loose. All but three of the barges were loaded with coal, fertilizer and other dry cargo. Statler said the barges broke loose “under high water…

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