Floods slow South Carolina coal trains: Update
Coal and other freight shipments will likely be delayed because there have been a number of track washouts, bridge outages and other weather-related transportation problems across the state.
Utility Santee Cooper said it had flooding at the coal-fired 1,130MW Winyah generating station in Georgetown. But the flooding did not affect the plant's ability to meet load demand. The generator said it had few, scattered customers with out power.
Railroad Norfolk Southern warned customers yesterday that flash flooding and record rainfall was forcing it to curtail or re-route operations in a number of mid-Atlantic coastal areas. It told customers to expect delays of 48-72 hours.
Over the last few days, from 1-2ft of rain has fallen over a broad area in the Carolinas, according to AccuWeather chief meteorologist Elliot Abrams. Another two-four inches of rain are expected today.
Hurricane Joaquin did not directly hit the area but other weather fronts converged, causing severe flooding, particularly in South Carolina. Much of the state experienced a once-in-50-years to once-in-200-years rain event over three days, AccuWeather said.
Norfolk Southern (NS) is assessing its rail operations, but its line into and out of Charleston, South Carolina, suffered damage and is inoperable. NS expects service to Charleston will not be restored until 9 October. Intermodal traffic destined for the city, including a short-haul service from Atlanta, will not be accepted after noon today until the line is restored to service.
CSX said a number of branch lines and at least two of its major lines in the Carolinas were affected by flooding and downed trees. Crews are working to restore normal operations but the the railroad warned that may be delayed by more rain and flooding.
CSX said freight continues to move in most areas but at a slower pace. A few local customers may not be served until all rail lines are restored.
Amtrak suspended passenger operations between Richmond, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, with no estimate for when service will resume. The carrier's main north-south route between the mid-Atlantic and southeast runs through North Charleston, South Carolina, on its way to Savannah, Georgia, while a further inland route travels near Columbia, South Carolina, on its way between Denmark, South Carolina, and Hamlet, North Carolina. Both lines are in regions covered by the historic flooding.
Utility SCANA said the weather had not had a big impact on its generation facilities. It has 10,000-12,000 customers without power. The utility is unable to provide estimated restoration times.