Cleanup continues, beaches closed near Lake Huron barge sinking, fuel spill

Barge, tug boat sink in Lake Huron just north of Port Huron; swimmers advised to stay out of water while crews work to clean


Conditions continue to improve on Lake Huron north of Port Huron where 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from a sinking barge doing dredge work on Thursday.

All but four beaches in the popular summer destination have reopened.

"It's pretty disappointing that we can't go in the water. I hope it clears up," said Chris Walker.

Several members of the Walker family are in the area this weekend from Atlanta, Ga. taking in the beautiful beach, the sand but not the water.

Read: Barge sinks in Lake Huron, spilling diesel fuel

"Yesterday we had planned to go to the beach and it rained all day," said Ben Walker. "On top of that we can't go swimming today, so it's one thing on top of the other."

Thousands would be at Fort Gratiot County Park this weekend if not for the beach closings. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to monitor conditions on and above the water.

The spill is a mile off shore. The fuel sheen can still be seen even though it is dissipating.

Images: Barge, tug boat sink in Lake Huron

People are advised, not ordered to stay out of the water at beaches in the area.

Dallas Lanewas was at the beach with several kids telling them, "Don't go in the water. I'd rather they be disappointed than sick."

The Smith family went into damage control mode right in the line of fire. They made their own booms out of human hair from area salons and nylon stockings to catch the diesel fuel.

"It does seem to be working," said Leann Smith. "And I'm glad the sunshine is out today to help get rid of this so we can get our beach back.

Anyone planning a trip to the area this weekend should call ahead.

The company that owns the barge that sank is still working out a salvage plan with the Coast Guard. The fuel spill has been stopped.

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