Workers race to fix towboat ahead of extreme cold

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) — Workers repairing a towboat on the Mississippi River at LeClaire are in a race against time to get patches completed and the boat ready to move before temperatures dip into the single digits by Friday night.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O’Leary says the boat has a hole measuring about 12 inches by 30 inches along a seam on the bottom near the rear. The boat hit something in the river on Nov. 25, and partially sank leaking oil and diesel fuel.

O’Leary says most of the spill has been cleaned up. Absorbent booms encircle the boat to catch anything that leaks out as workers raise the tugboat to patch the hole and seal it up so it can be towed to a repair facility.

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