Gov Carney Issues Limited State of Emergency for Kent County Due to Barge Fire in Delaware Bay
Update, Wednesday morning:
A fire on a barge being towed up the Delaware River with a cargo of scrap metal and old appliances has been extinguished.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Northstar Environmental and Marine Services has been contracted to assess the integrity of the vessel and to manage salvage operations. A 500-yard safety zone is being enforced around the salvage vessel Northstar Independence, which has the capability to fight fires if one starts up again.
The fire started early Monday morning in the southern portion of the river. No injuries have been reported and no environmental effects have been discovered.
A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, environmental officials and emergency responders is still in operation.
Update, Tuesday afternoon:
Governor John Carney on Tuesday issued a limited State of Emergency in Kent County due to the barge fire occurring in the Delaware Bay.
The Governor requested additional resources to support local emergency management agencies – including the Bowers Fire Company and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control – through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) to continue combating the fire.
“Emergency response crews have been actively fighting the barge fire for more than 24 hours,” said Governor Carney. “This local State of Emergency will help support their efforts to continue to fight the burn and assess the possible impact on the environment, the bay, and wildlife. Thank you to all the first responders keeping our community and our environment safe.”
This State of Emergency took effect at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, and will remain in effect until terminated.