River traffic is halted along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Vacherie, La., due to a barge leaking oil in St. James Parish, La., Feb. 23, 2014.
Gerald Herbert/AP

Mississippi River reopens after oil spill

Updated

A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River, from Baton Rouge to the Port of New Orleans, has reopened with some restrictions after closing Sunday from an oil spill.

Approximately 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled into the river after a collision between a barge and a towboat near Vacherie, Louisiana on Saturday afternoon. A sheen of oil was reported on the river after the collision, although there are so far no reports of wildlife being covered with oil.

St. Charles Parish, which stretches through the affected area, shut off its drinking water intakes as a precaution, but in a news release Sunday night, officials said, “the water supply in St. Charles Parish remains safe.”

As of Monday morning, there are currently 29 boats waiting to move on the river, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Bill Colclough. The Port of New Orleans reopened Monday, although two cruise ships left the port on scheduled trips Sunday.

The barge hit the tug boat, which was pushing boats loaded with grain and began spilling light crude into the river. No injuries were reported, and the oil was pumped into another barge. The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

Mississippi River reopens after oil spill

Updated