Mississippi River at New Orleans open after barges collide

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A port official says the Mississippi River has reopened through New Orleans about seven hours after barges collided in the busy waterway.

Port of New Orleans spokesman Matt Gresham says the river reopened about 10:20 a.m. Friday.

The Coast Guard closed the river earlier in the morning after several barges broke free. The river is swollen from large amounts of Mississippi River Valley rains and is flowing very fast.

Gresham says barges being pushed upriver collided with barges at an oil facility in Gretna, Louisiana, a suburban town across the river from New Orleans. He says a small amount of fuel inside a hose connected to a barge that was being filled leaked into the river.

He says the oil facility was not damaged.

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