RACINE — River traffic has come to a standstill in the area near the Racine Locks and Dam after a tow boat hauling three barges became stuck there.
According to Chuck Minster, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers out of Huntington, W.Va., the M/V Austin C. Setton out of Louisiana, was pushing three barges Thursday morning. Around 6 a.m., one of the barges broke loose near the lock and that barge ended up in the lock chamber, while the tow boat with its two remaining barges was pushed up, and stuck against, the actual dam.
Though Minster said it was unclear how many crew members were on the vessel, everyone was evacuated from it and no one was hurt. Minster said it was not known what the barge was hauling but in terms of damage to the vessel or facility, Minster said it doesn’t appear there are any, but the incident is still being investigated. It is unclear what exactly happened to cause the incident, Minster added.
The priority at the moment is figuring out how to extract the barges and tow from the area so that river traffic can resume. With the barge in the actual lock chamber, nothing can move through. This morning, officials from the Racine Locks and Dam, U.S. Coast Guard and others, are meeting to look at how to remedy the situation.
Check back here for updates on this developing story.