TOLEDO -- One of the biggest fuel spills in recent Maumee River history sent more than 3,000 gallons of fuel into the river.
The Algonorth, a freight vessel docked in the Maumee, suffered a ruptured fuel tank around 9:00 p.m. Friday night. The spill affected about one-square mile near Point Place.
The Coast Guard prohibited commercial boats from moving through the area for more than 12 hours. They worked the spill putting up buoys to contain the fuel, which was mostly diesel and used vacuums to suction out the fuel.
A Coast Guard spokesman says, "We got a containment boom around the vessel quickly, got the source of the leak contained. And, then began to deflect and gather the oil we could."
Some of the fuel did escape before containment, reaching the lake. But strong winds and a high water level actually helped the clean-up.
"Mother Nature has taken care of quite a bit of it...because it's diesel and it evaporates quite a bit," says a Coast Guard spokesman.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also took part in the clean-up. They say it's too early to tell if wildlife has been affected, but they say water use should be OK.
Mike Gerber from the Ohio EPA says, "We made notifications last night to water users, just as a precautionary measure... We feel we got it contained before a lot of it got out."
And the Coast Guard says most of the oil has been soaked up or has evaporated.
But their boats could remain in Maumee for several days as additional clean-up takes place and the investigation continues.
Colleen wells reported this story on News 11 at Six.
730 North Summit Street