Houston freeway closed at San Jacinto River after barges hit bridge

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor

CHANNELVIEW, Texas - Even though the rain has died down, people across the Houston-area still feeling the effects of Imelda.

There are high water locations all across town, and many roads are still closed including I-10 at the San Jacinto River.

Rising water and strong currents caused nine barges to break loose at a shipyard near the San Jacinto Bridge.

Get more coverage of Imelda from our sister station in Houston, KPRC.

Two fo those barges floated down river and struck the bridge just before midnight Thursday, forcing authorities to shut down the East Freeway in both directions as a precaution.

The closure is between Magnolia Street and Crosby Lynchburg Road.

Both barges are still stuck under the bridge and deputies said the barges may contain combustible materials.

Crews were called out to inspect the bridge, but the Texas Department of Transportation has been unable to do so because the water level is too high.

The bridge cannot reopen until it is inspected, so authorities said they are not sure when the road will reopen.

Drivers traveling to or from that area should find alternate routes.

The Harris County Toll Road Authority is waiving tolls at the Sam Houston Tollway Ship Channel Bridge due to the closure.

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