LIVESTREAM: Barges Loose on the Arkansas River

barges video

After a long evening of people wondering if the two barges loose on the Arkansas River were going to crash through the Webbers Falls dam, the fear seemed to have abated. According to News on 6, the barges spent the evening near Spaniard Creek, stuck on rocks about a mile from the dam.  However, on Thursday at around noon, local time, the barges finally slammed into the dam. The dam seemed to hold, and the barges immediately began to sink on impact.

Here’s the video of the barges, the moment they hit and appeared to sink from impact:



Here’s a photo of the barges hitting the dam:

And here’s another, clearer photo of the barges on impact:


This post will be updated with breaking information  and new livestreams as they come. For now, here’s a timeline of the events leading up to this moment:

Timeline of Events for Barges Loose on the Arizona River

Earlier in the day, the barges drifted beneath the U.S. 62 bridge, amazing onlookers.

Here’s the video of the barges drifting perfectly beneath the U.S. 62 bridge, too:

As news of the barges broke, the town of Webbers Falls called for an immediate evacuation for all residents, with the fear that the barges might break through the lock and dam, causing disastrous flooding for the area.

According to Tulsa World, state  troopers shut down the I-40 bridge and nearby highway area due to the threat of the barges. In a social media statement, town officials wrote, “Evacuate Webbers Falls immediately. The barges are loose and has the potential to hit the lock and dam 16. if the dam breaks it will be catastrophic!! Leave now!!”

According to KWCH, Webbers Falls is a town with a population of 6-700 people. Town officials urged those people to get out while they could, writing in a subsequent Facebook post,

“This is a life threatening situation. If you choose to stay you are doing so at your own risk. If you choose to stay we advice you write your name and personal information on your arm in permanent marker. Please be safe!”

Jeremie Poplin, a Program Director for Buzz Tulsa, wrote, “Officials at Lock and Dam 16 do not expect complete failure if the barges make impact. They expect a few broken gates.

As one might expect, the situation captured the attention of people across the country, especially those in the area. One Twitter user wrote, “I can’t go to bed until I see these Barges at the dam

Another wrote, “My husband keeps saying ‘But what about the barges?!?!””

There was even a Twitter account made by someone impersonating the barges. The handle “Loose Barges,” tweeted throughout the apparent crisis, writing at one point, “Seriously if your near Webbers falls heed the warnings…I really can’t stop myself..sorry for barging into your life so unexpectedly”

At another point, the account wrote, “everyone gets mad when I just barge in :(”

Late on Thursday evening, after tens of thousands of people spent several hours watching the livestream of the dam (which you can see below), it appeared that the barges were finally no longer a risk to the dam. According to News on 6, the barges were corralled for a period of time overnight, but broke that corral and began drifting down the Arkansas River once more.

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