Damaged cables, pipelines in Great Lakes waterway inspected

A remotely operated vehicle was deployed in the Straits of Mackinac to assess damage to the American Transmission Co.’s cable on Sunday. Initial assessment shows damage to the steel outer shielding, an outer protective layer of the cable. (Photo courtesy of the American Transmission Co.)

MACKINAW CITY (AP) — Officials say a remotely operated underwater vehicle is getting a close-up look at electric cables damaged by what Michigan’s attorney general has called a tugboat anchor strike in a channel connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

Agencies led by the U.S. Coast Guard say the vehicle was first deployed Sunday to get visual imagery of the cables at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

They released two photos Monday, saying an initial assessment shows damage to a steel outer protective layer.

About 600 gallons­­­ of insulation fluid leaked from the cables earlier this month.

Enbridge Inc. also has used an underwater vehicle to examine nearby oil pipes believed to have been dented in the incident. A spokesman said Monday the company is analyzing video from the inspection.