Crews move barge on Hudson River near Catskill


CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After being stuck all day, a barge that ran aground near Catskill was removed late Tuesday night.

The barge ran into some rocks just after 9:30 a.m. It was carrying 2.5 million gallons of gas.

Those who live nearby couldn’t believe their eyes.

“It’s pretty crazy; I was astonished,” Ashley Lavoie said. “I didn’t understand how it could get stuck on the rocks.”

Lavoie was at work and saw pictures of the scene, so she came to see for herself.

“How did no one notice that they were drifting a little close to the shore here, you know?” she said. “You see boats and barges come by here all the time, and they’re usually out there. You don’t usually see them this close up.”

Environmental activists like Nick Zachos said the barge running aground is a huge concern.

“If there were to be a spill, the tide would go back and forth and it would affect towns all up and down the Hudson River from Albany down to New York City,” he said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo agrees. He visited the site just off of Duchman’s Landing to check on the progress.

“Our concern is the Hudson and the water and the environment,” he said.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said there didn’t appear to be any problems.

“No leaks. No spills. Nothing detected at this point.”

They worked on a tight time frame to unload the 2.5 million gallons of gas from the barge so it could be moved safely.

“Once the connections are made they can pump an enormous amount of fuel, but certain precautions need to be taken,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said.

That included making sure a fire didn’t start and the hull didn’t get punctured.

“A spill, a leakage would obviously be, could potentially, have catastrophic results,” Cuomo said.

Officials also worked to find out how and why the barge got stuck. Low visibility may have been a factor

“Something went wrong this morning, and we have to get to the bottom of it,” Seggos said.

Zachos said he has bigger questions about transporting fuel in general.

“Really look at it and see if this is what we want to have happen in our communities and is it the safest way to be moving forward?” he questioned.

“I love the environment, so I want to protect it,” Lavoie said. “It really stinks that this happened right here.”

The barge was removed late Tuesday. It will be brought to Albany for further inspection.