Massive clean-up operation continues in Houston Ship Channel

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has deployed as many as 90 vessels to contain, clean and control an oil spill in the ship channel.

The oil leaked after a fire damaged or destroyed several storage tanks at the ITC facility in Deer Park.

The Coast Guard gave the media a tour of the area to show how clean-up operations are going.

"Understand how challenging it is, but at the same time how complex and dynamic the waterway is, the deep draft shifts, the barge traffic, but at the same time, all the response operations that are happening, all at the same time, all on a very tight and confined waterway," said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt.

There are 33 skimmers and 20 vacuum vessels working in several areas around the ship channel, according to the Coast Guard.

"You may see some areas where there's a light sheen but the bulk of the oil, right now the weather, it shifted to the north and east side of the Houston ship channel," said Oditt.

The Coast Guard is also inspecting outgoing ship traffic to make sure no ship spreads the oil beyond the containment area.

Ship channel traffic is also improving. The Coast Guard said vessel traffic is now at 50 percent up from 30 percent Thursday.

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