Dalles Barge Incident

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)  

May 15, 2009

Ecology closes out The Dalles Dam barge response
Authorities open Columbia River traffic; barge to offload product at Pasco, Wash.

YAKIMA – A fuel barge damaged in a collision at The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River has been given the OK to proceed to its final destination at Pasco, Wash., where fuel will be offloaded. Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) spill responders and the U.S. Coast Guard inspected the vessel and the Coast Guard determined the vessel was safe for continuing passage.

The river and locks have been reopened to all traffic, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ecology, the Coast Guard and Tidewater Barge Lines responded this morning to The Dalles Dam in Klickitat County where a Tidewater barge and tug struck the dam just after midnight Friday.

The double-hulled barge is carrying two million gallons of gasoline. The barge and tug struck the “long wall” at the entrance to the locks, breaching the outer hull of the barge about three feet above the water line. The accident caused a four-foot by four-foot gash but did not damage the cargo tanks.

No fuel has spilled and no water is getting inside the barge. The structural integrity of the barge has not been compromised. According to a Tidewater spokesman the double-hull performed as designed, limiting the damage to the outer hull, while protecting the cargo tanks.

The Coast Guard conducted a helicopter over flight and responders saw no gasoline sheen on the water. The river was closed to boat traffic both upriver and downriver of the dam until the site was cleared.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that there is no structural damage to the navigation lock at The Dalles Dam. The Corps resumed navigation lock operations once the U.S. Coast Guard completed its inspection and released the barge.


Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and Tidewater responding to barge accident at The Dalles Dam

YAKIMA – The state Department of Ecology (Ecology), the U.S. Coast Guard (Coast Guard) and Tidewater Barge Lines are on the scene at The Dalles Dam in Klickitat County where a Tidewater barge and tug struck the dam at just after midnight Friday.

The double-hulled barge is carrying two million gallons of gasoline. The barge and tug struck the “long wall” at the entrance to the locks, breaching the outer hull of the barge about three feet above the water line. The accident caused a four-foot by four-foot gash but did not damage the cargo tanks.

No fuel has spilled and no water is getting inside the barge. The structural integrity of the barge has not been compromised. According to a Tidewater spokesman the double-hull performed as designed, limiting the damage to the outer hull, while protecting the cargo tanks.

The Coast Guard has conducted a helicopter over flight and responders saw no gasoline sheen on the water. The river has been closed to boat traffic both upriver and downriver of the dam until the site is cleared.

The Coast Guard is waiting for a marine chemist to inspect the barge holds to make sure the barge can be safely inspected. The Coast Guard then will determine if the vessel can continue down the river or if the gasoline must be off-loaded on site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stated that there is no structural damage to the navigation lock at The Dalles Dam. The Corps plans to resume navigation lock operations once the U.S. Coast Guard completes its inspection and releases the barge.

Ecology and Coast Guard will continue monitoring the situation for any leakage.

 

SUMMARY INFORMATION

Date of Incident:
May 15, 2009

Location:
The Dalles Dam is about 85 miles east of Portland, Oregon - on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon.

Product/Quantity: No quantity lost.

Cause:
Collision

Responsible Party: Tidewater Barge Line Inc.


NEWS RELEASE

May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009 (closed response)