8 barges become loose, float freely down on the Hudson River

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Officials say say eight large barges, including the Captain JP and the Rusty Anchor, broke loose and floated down the Hudson River towards Albany Friday morning.

So far, three of the eight barges, including the Rusty Anchor barge, have been secured at the Port of Albany. Crews are working on securing the other loose barges.

Two tugboats were able to free the “Captain JP” Friday afternoon. The boat hit the Livingston Rail Bridge in Albany earlier in the morning.

Officials said during a press conference at the Port of Albany that the likely cause of the loose barges was the ice being freed that pushed the barges off their moorings and the shoreline. The exact cause is still under investigation.

At this time, officials do not believe there is any structural damage to any of the bridges or any structures.

No injuries or environmental impacts have been reported due to the loose barges.

When notified of the situation, state officials say state forces including NYSDOT engineers and public safety officials, converged to the scene and are currently coordinating a response.  New York State Police officials closed the Menands, Patroon Island and Dunn Memorial bridges to the traveling public until the situation was deemed safe for motorists.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified as well a number of other agencies in the hope of eventually securing the vessels. The Coast Guard has two cutters in route by air. A 140 foot ice cutter from Poughkeepsie and another from Saugerties.

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