It happened Saturday afternoon about 500 yards off the Texas City dikes. A bulk carrier ship named Summer Wind crashed into a barge carrying 924,000 gallons of oil. That collision caused about 168,000 of fuel to be spilled into Galveston Bay. According to the Coast Guard, the oil is not only in the Galveston Bay but is moving further out into the Gulf of Mexico and south of Galveston Island due to the wind and tides.
Currently about 24 vessels are involved in the cleanup. According to our t-v- partner Local 2 more than 69,000 feet of containment booms is being used to prevent the oil from spreading to sensitive areas. Governor Rick Perry announced yesterday to provide all state resources for the cleanup efforts. We also have heard from Kirby Marine, the company that owns the ship that caused the spill, says they will assume all costs associated with this cleanup.
As for the effects on travelers, Both the Bolivar and Lynchburg ferries remain closed at of the time of this report. Those closures are causing many to have to find alternate routes to work and school. Also 2 cruise ships that dock in Galveston were delayed for about 10 hours getting back into port. That caused problems not only for those expecting to leave the ships Sunday morning, but also for those who were expecting to start their vacations on the cruise liners Sunday afternoon.
Commerce is also being affected by the spill since The Houston Ship Channel has been closed since Saturday, halting at least 45 ships from doing business in the port.
Coincidently, today (Monday) marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska.