Monday December 6, 2021

The State

A fuel spill in downtown Columbia turned a creek that drains into the Congaree River bright red Friday, sending the odor of petroleum wafting through a park and past a riverside observation deck.

Cleanup crews were working to contain the spill before any fuel reached the Congaree. About 800 gallons polluted the unnamed creek that winds through Memorial Park and past the Gervais Street bridge.

Department of Health and Environmental Control officials were at both Memorial Park in the Vista, below Finlay Park, and at the observation deck below the Gervais Street bridge near the Congaree on Friday afternoon.

It was not known if any of the fuel had tainted the river., but Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler said preliminary cleanup work appeared to have prevented that.

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