The U.S. Coast Guard says it will take two weeks to reopen a section of the busy Houston Ship Channel after fuel oil leaked from a barge.
The barge was struck by a commercial vessel late Friday night near Brady Island, dumping approximately 10,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into the channel.
The Houston Chronicle said Sunday that the spill did not damage the other ship, which was carrying aviation fuel.
The incident closed the channel to all ship traffic north of the Sidney Sherman Bridge. Ten ships and barges in the immediate area will not be allowed to move until the oil is cleared.
Coast Guard Capt. James Whitehead said the closure would interrupt a lot of water-borne business, however, it was fortunate it did not occur in the busier south section of the 52-mile channel, which links Houston’s oil refineries and chemical plants to the sea.
“It is low economic impact at this point,” said Whitehead.