Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico is forecasted to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the Gulf Coast, including the New Orleans area, beginning later today. As much as two feet of rain is possible in some locations, with the storm expected to make landfall in Louisiana, potentially as a hurricane, on Saturday. More than 200 flood gates in and around New Orleans are currently in the process of being closed.
Hurricane watches are in effect along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, and a flood warning is in effect for the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Due to the gate closures and flooding concerns, BNSF is holding all New Orleans-bound trains from moving into the area. The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), the switching railroad which services the Port of New Orleans and other local industries, has informed other rail carriers that it is no longer accepting inbound traffic. NOPB plans to resume operations to customer facilities once this storm passes and as soon as flood gates have reopened.
Customers with shipments scheduled to move into the region should expect delays throughout the duration of this storm event. With the New Orleans interchange gateway likely closed through the weekend, our operations teams are working with other carriers to identify alternate gateways unaffected by this storm to minimize disruptions to interchange traffic as much as possible.
If you have questions about your shipment(s), please contact BNSF Customer Support at 1-888-428-2673.
BNSF is closely monitoring conditions in the region, and we are in communication with other rail carriers as well as local, state and federal emergency personnel. We will continue to provide customers with further updates.