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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard has closed a portion of the swollen Mississippi River at New Orleans after several barges broke loose while being pushed up against the

levee.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Lora Ratliff says one barge was damaged Friday morning in a collision with a secured barge.

Ratliff said the damaged barge was carrying oil, but she had no reports of pollution.

She says the river will remain closed while the Coast Guard investigates the collision.

It was unclear whether the river's high water level had anything to do with the barge accident. Heavy Mississippi Valley rain has propelled the river higher levels.




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