The Port of Mobile’s upper harbor is expected to remain closed to traffic through Saturday after a heavy crude oil spill Thursday morning, said Alabama State Ports Authority spokesperson Judith Adams.
She said the port’s lower harbor serving container, coal and steel traffic is open. It’s unclear when the upper harbor will be open, considering a tropical depression is making decontamination efforts more difficult.
The spill at Gulf Coast Asphalt, a private terminal across the Mobile River from the Alabama State Port Authority docks, occurred early morning Thursday when one of the tanks failed during the transfer of fuel, said Coast Guard spokesman Capt. John Edwards. A berm surrounding the tank contained much of the spilled fuel, but some ran into a ditch leading to the river.