Coast Guard: Barge leaked 7,000 gallons of oil

By By HOLBROOK MOHR and JANET McCONNAUGHEY

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — With more than 50 vessels idling on the water for a fourth day, authorities say they still don't know when they will be able to reopen a stretch of the Mississippi River that has been closed due to an oil spill near Vicksburg.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally said Tuesday that a plan to pump oil from a leaking barge onto another barge had been approved, but it was unclear how long that would take. He said the other barge was en route.

Authorities also said that severe weather expected to sweep through the area could shut down cleanup operations for a time, prolonging even further the closure of a 16-mile stretch of river.

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