Ship Channel Closing - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/23/06 - Louisiana

Ship Channel Closing

The Calcasieu Ship Channel closing was expanded south to light 83, and north to the I-210 bridge, an extension of six miles, at noon today. The Intracoastal Waterway was also closed one mile east and one mile west from where it crosses the Calcasieu.

An estimated 15,000-18,000 barrels of oil leaked into the channel late Tuesday, and there are another 30,000 barrels of oil in the Indian Marais, CITGO's on-site drainage feature.

As of this morning, approximately 4,500 barrels of oil have been removed from the river, and a further 11,600 barrels were removed from the Indian Marais. A total of 57,900 feet of boom remain deployed, with vacuum trucks and skimmers actively working to recover oil.

Two birds were recovered from the river and cleaned of oil, but no other animals have been found to be affected at this time.

The cause of the spill remains under investigation. Clean up and containment operations continue on the east and west banks of the Calcasieu channel. The Unified Command is conducting continual on-site and aerial evaluations of the area.

As of this morning there are 15 ships waiting to depart and five ships waiting to come into port, with nine ships scheduled to arrive over the next five days. Facilities affected by the channel closure include: the Calcasieu Refinery, CII Carbon, CONOCO Clifton Ridge, CITGO Clifton Ridge, CITGO Refinery, Bulk Terminal 1, Port of Lake Charles, PPG, CONOCO West Lake Refinery, Bulk Terminal 4, Port Aggregates, Pelican Refinery and Central Crude.

CITGO has established a toll-free claims number for the incident. Affected individuals may call 1-800-213-5540 for more information. A separate number has been established for claims related to exterior boat cleaning. That number is 337-708-7177.

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