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Widespread Flooding Impacting the Midwest

As you may already be aware of, Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin have declared states of emergency, after the most powerful late-winter storm in a decade unleashed torrents of rain that melted snow. The surge overtook rivers and levees, driving thousands of people from their homes. These record-breaking floods are disrupting the flow of domestic and international freight and the damage is delaying cargo and causing diversions.

Regarding the floods, BNSF has released the below Service Advisory:

Widespread Flooding Impacting BNSF Operations in Midwest

Record flooding in portions of South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri is causing major disruptions to BNSF service and operations in the region. As we reported, recent heavy rain and snowmelt have caused area rivers to reach historic levels in many locations.

With multiple washouts and high water on BNSF main lines in the area, several subdivisions remain out of service. We are also anticipating additional closures in the next 24-36 hours involving our Hannibal and River Subdivisions that run adjacent to the Mississippi River.

While BNSF operating teams are re-routing some trains, we have issued embargoes in response to outages through this impacted area. You can view active embargoes at the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Embargo Railinc website here.

BNSF crews are conducting ongoing assessments and inspections regarding the condition of our main lines. Additional resources, including ballast, are being deployed to affected locations to make track repairs as quickly as possible. While service on some subdivisions has already been restored, with speed restrictions in place where necessary, normal train flows in the area are likely not to resume for an extended period. Customers should expect continued delays on shipments scheduled to move through the area.

If you have questions about your shipment(s), please contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673. We appreciate your patience as we address this very challenging environment. We will continue to provide customers with further updates.

Additionally, the flood advisory that the Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail has released can be found below:

Dear Valued Customers,

We are closely monitoring conditions across the property that have the potential to create spring flood waters that CP has not seen since 2009/2011. We will provide updates as necessary and work directly with affected customers.


Regional Details


Manitoba / Northern Ontario Region:

  • Manitoba (Red River Valley) and Central Ontario can be described as normal. For Northern Ontario (Manitoba border eastward), large snowpacks are present over the lakes and in the Sudbury area.


US Region:

  • Water has receded along the southern portions of the CP network along Mississippi River.
  • Davenport area reports high water in the Mississippi River. Expect the river to remain high as the snow melt begins to enter the system in the north.
  • Marquette & Davenport Subs will continue to be monitored.


Weather Outlook:   
Short Term: Continued daytime above-freezing temperatures will promote melting throughout affected regions. Beginning this weekend, south of St Paul, overnight temperatures will rise above freezing slightly. This will promote a more rapid melt along the southern sections of the Mississippi.

For all areas, CP response teams remain poised to react, if needed, with the upcoming snow melt.