Weather Related Service Update: Tropical Storm Nate

Friday, October 6, 2017  –  As hurricane season starts to wind down, Odyssey is currently monitoring Tropical Storm Nate which is forecast to hit the US as a category 1 hurricane over the weekend. New Orleans and parts of Southeast Louisiana may begin experiencing hurricane conditions Saturday with landfall expected late Saturday evening or early Sunday. Heavy rainfall will occur over the region and storm surge and swells will accompany the system. Storm watches and warning have been issued for states along the Gulf Coast. Service delays are likely in the area along the storm’s track.

In preparation for Nate, freight providers are taking the following actions:

  • Union Pacific (UP) has activated its hurricane response plan – strategically staging resources such as ballast, pumps, locomotives, generators and work crews throughout the affected region – and working with the eastern carriers to reroute interchange traffic to Memphis, as the New Orleans gateway will likely be impacted.  UP is in the process of moving approximately 1,700 rail cars in the Avondale and Westwego yards to higher ground. Interchanging traffic with area short line railroads including New Orleans & Gulf Coast Railway (NOGC) and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) has ceased ahead of the storm.
  • Kansas City Southern (KCS) is placing an embargo on traffic interchanging in New Orleans, LA, effective immediately.
  • Norfolk Southern (NS) is taking precautions by repositioning rail equipment away from the low lying areas. Traffic enroute to New Orleans will be held at various yards throughout the Norfolk Southern system in an effort to alleviate congestion. Additionally, NS is issuing embargoes for traffic destined to the New Orleans area.

Odyssey will continue to monitor the system and provide updates as necessary.

UPDATE: Monday, October 09, 2017  –

Hurricane Nate mostly spared the US Gulf Coast after making two category 1 landfalls this past weekend, once in Louisiana on Saturday evening and again in Mississippi early on Sunday. No deaths or injuries and minimal structural damage have been reported on the mainland despite some flooding and power outages in the Gulf Coast region. As the system progressed further inland, it quickly weakened and is now a tropical depression as it moves through the mid-Atlantic and up through the Northeast. Normal operations are expected at ports, rail facilities and terminals around the impacted areas

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