Severe spring storms are hampering freight transportation in the Midwest, as several major railroads closed tracks from as far south as Texas to as far north as Canada.
Union Pacific Railroad said debris and power outages from Monday storms disrupted its operations in northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.
The storm system spawned tornadoes and other high winds that left trees and other material on tracks, while downed power lines knocked out track signals. UP said its main line was affected between Longview, Texas, and Dexter, Mo., and customers should expect shipment delays of 24 to 48 hours.
That was after a weekend tornado hit St. Louis, damaging buildings at Lambert airport and limited flight schedules. Earlier in the month, tracks and roadways were flooded out in the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains, as storms and spring snowmelt swelled a number of rivers.
BNSF Railway said as of April 25 it still had tracks out of service due to flooding in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri.
Last week, both Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway saw some track closures as authorities built a dike over tracks in southern Manitoba, a bit north of the U.S.-Canada border. Regional rail traffic has been rerouted since then.
The flooding has dissipated in the upper Midwest, but now the lower Mississippi in some areas is reaching the highest level since the floods of 1973, so the potential remains for flood outages in the freight network.