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Ice Traps Oil Slick in W.Va.; Wheeling Threatened Again

January 12, 1988|United Press International

SISTERSVILLE, W.Va. — A 30-mile-long mass of ice trapped part of a million-gallon oil slick between two dams along the Ohio River today, slowing the speed of the spill and once again threatening the city of Wheeling, which had already lifted emergency measures.

The leading edge of the diesel fuel slick was detected about 15 miles north of Sistersville around noon today.

Upstream, an undetermined amount of surface oil was trapped between the New Cumberland Dam in West Virginia and the Montgomery Dam in Pennsylvania. Both dams are located north of Wheeling, where officials Monday again began drawing 100% of the town's water supply from the Ohio, said Bob Donaghy, a biologist with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"There's no thaw in sight," Donaghy said. "All we can do is wait till the ice breaks up and see if it gets worse at Wheeling."

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