Texas ship channel could partly reopen after spill

MICHAEL GRACZYK Associated Press Published:

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) -- The Coast Guard could soon reopen the Houston Ship Channel that was the scene of an oil spill over the weekend.

The channel is one of the nation's busiest seaports. Coast Guard Warrant Officer Kimberly Smith says the goal is to reopen part of it sometime Monday. The closure has forced more than 80 ships to wait to enter or leave the bay.

Smith says officials are still trying to determine how much oil spilled Saturday, when a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons collided with a ship. Authorities initially said as much as a fifth of the barge's cargo spilled.

The spill also suspended state-operated ferry service between Galveston and Port Bolivar (BAH'-lee-vur), affecting thousands of travelers.