Illinois County Narrowly Avoids Catastrophe Sunday Morning as Runaway Barges Threaten Bridge


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Morris, IL – A potential catastrophe was narrowly avoided in Grundy County early Sunday morning when two runaway barges drifted perilously down the Illinois River.

According to the Morris Fire Department and Grundy County Emergency Management Agency, the incident began around daybreak when two barges, believed to be owned by agricultural giant ADM, broke loose near Morris. The situation grew increasingly tense as the unmanned barges floated downstream towards the Route 47 bridge.

Emergency responders and local authorities were alerted immediately. The barges’ trajectory brought them dangerously close to the bridge supports, raising fears of a significant collision. Authorities acted swiftly, closing the Route 47 bridge before 7 a.m. as a precautionary measure to protect the infrastructure and ensure public safety.

As the barges approached the bridge, onlookers watched anxiously. Remarkably, the barges passed under the bridge without striking its supports, narrowly averting a disaster. Emergency teams from the Morris Fire Department and the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency worked diligently to secure the wayward vessels.

By around 8 a.m., responders had successfully contained the barges, bringing the situation under control. The swift and coordinated response of local emergency services was instrumental in preventing what could have been a devastating event for the community.


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