Runaway Barge Blocks Spillway in Pickens County, Flooding Neighborhood
An unmanned, runaway barge ran into the spillway at the Tom Bevill Lock & Dam in Pickens County Friday night, which has caused flooding in the Rivermont community in Pickensville, sources with the Pickens County Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have confirmed to the Tuscaloosa Thread.
Justin Murphree at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Project Management Office said a barge got loose of its moorings overnight and ran into the spillway at the lock & dam.
Murphree said the barge is not currently sinking, but it is stuck against the spillway and preventing his office from releasing floodwaters downstream over the lock & dam.
"We can't run as much water as we need to because the barge is blocking the spillway," Murphree said. "Any flooding we see is going to be upstream because we can't release enough water downstream."
He said there was no one on the barge when it got loose overnight and the only risk associated with the accident was upstream floodwaters.
The Pickens County EMA told Don Hartley, Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa's news director, that the blockage has caused flooding in Rivermont, a private, gated riverfront community in Pickensville, Alabama.
Hartley said the community has flooded multiple times in the last few years, but as of Saturday afternoon, no residents have made requests for assistance or rescue.
The response to the accident and flooding will be handled by the Corps of Engineers. Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates as they become available.
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