Tennessee barge company sued for Illinois school flooding

MARSEILLES, Ill. (AP) -- A northern Illinois school district is seeking $6.4 million in damages from a Tennessee barge company, claiming it was responsible for severe flood damage to an elementary school.

Marseilles Elementary District 150 officials said Monday that they've filed a claim in federal court against Ingram Barge Co. They say the school sustained significant damage in April when seven barges broke loose from a towing vessel on the flood-swollen Illinois River and hit a dam, "sending unprecedented floodwaters into the city."

Superintendent JoEllen Fuller says the school closed for the rest of the academic year, and repairs are ongoing.

But Ingram Senior Vice President Dan Mecklenborg says the company doesn't believe it was responsible. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is investigating.

Marseilles is about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

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