A tanker truck hauling milk was traveling on Interstate 26 heading east when it crashed at mile marker 61 shortly before 7 a.m. according to N.C. Division of Water Resources Regional Supervisor Landon Davidson. Davidson said the single-vehicle accident ruptured the tanker, spilling milk into two storm water inlets leading to Cove Creek.
The N.C. Division of Water Resources was called to the scene at about 10:45 a.m., he said. A clean up crew managed to remove about 600 gallons of milk from the site prior to Davidson’s arrival. The spill entered into Cove Creek and pushed towards Green River by afternoon.
While the spill posed no risk to the public, Davidson said it did remove a lot of oxygen from the water. Several dead fish were spotted in the Green River by a game warden monitoring the situation, he said.
Landon said rain from thunderstorms Saturday night helped dilute the milk spill, which had spread 3.5 miles down the river. No further clean-up efforts are planned at the site, he said.
Polk County Emergency Management, North Carolina Department of Transportation, N.C. Highway Patrol, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission assisted at the scene. Landon said the tanker was owned by Harris Transport based in Loudon, Tenn.