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CARL R. GRAVES BNSF Railway Conquers Missouri River Floodwaters


MAYBE THEY SHOULD CALL IT THE BNSF Railway and Navigation Co. For months, the railroad has battled the effects of high water and flooding on the ex-Great Northern High Line in the Souris River valley (page 20, September 2011 R&R) and on sever- al former Burlington routes in the Missouri River valley. In May, record snowmelt in the upper Mis-


souri Valley began to cause the river to rise drastically and later in the month, storms dumped a year’s worth of rain onto the upper part of the watershed. As the Missouri rose to unprecedented levels, the Army Corps of Engi- neers was forced to release huge amounts of water from dams along the river,compounding the flooding. Then on June 20 a series of heavy thunderstorms broke out in Nebraska, deliver- ing another blow as levees were breached and the flood plain filled with water. BNSF routes affected by the floods included


the St. Joseph Sub, a major coal route between Kansas City and Lincoln, Neb., via Napier, Mo.; the Napier Sub, which follows the Mis- souri between Napier and Pacific Junction, Iowa, and the Omaha Sub between Omaha and Bellevue, Neb. The Creston Sub was also threatened, but the railroad was able to avoid service interruptions by raising the roadbed by up to eight feet and building levees six feet


BNSF RAILWAY 26 DECEMBER 2011 • RAILFAN.COM


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