Storms Slow Down Barge and Rail Routes

The Missouri River is at its highest point since 1993, halting barge traffic.

Heavy storms in early May have caused transportation problems in some of the Plains states for both barge and rail services.

The Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard have stopped all barge traffic on the Missouri River due to high water. Storms this month raised the river to its highest levels since 1993. Vessel operators on the Upper Mississippi River should also watch for high water and debris, the Corps says.

Winds and flooding from May 4-6 storms have affected rail service in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, several railroads report. In addition to tornados and strong winds, 5 to 8 inches of rainfall caused flooding on some tracks. The USDA's Transportation and Marketing Programs/Transportation Services Branch says grain shippers could see delays up to 48 hours, and railroad may take as long as 2 weeks to recover.

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