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Fooding Across the U.S. Midwest Has Led to Mill Closings, Rail Disruption

In the midst of an unprecedented spring, massive flooding along the Mississippi River has resulted in the closure of at least three mills, while conditions continue to have a significantly negative impact, disrupting the movement of wheat and grains amid numerous railroad delays and service outages. Barge traffic has also halted on the Lower Illinois river and much of the Arkansas River, according to the USDA.

Ardent Mills, the largest flour miller in the U.S., announced it was taking down its Alton and Chester, Illinois mills due to severe flooding and the inability to move grain. While a plant in St. Louis, Missouri belonging to U.S. Durum Milling Inc. was also closed as high water levels restricted the movement of grain from the site.

The Union Pacific Railway is having to take measures, as heavy rainfall and flooding have impacted operations in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas resulting in “new, prolonged and expanded subdivision outages”. Existing outages continue on lines from Kansas City to Jefferson City, Missouri, Coffeyville, Kansas, to Van Buren, Arkansas, Parsons, Kansas, to McAlester, Oklahoma, Tulsa to Muskogee, Oklahoma, Atchison, Kansas, to Oreapolis, Nebraska, Fort Smith to North Little Rock, Arkansas, and near Chester, Missouri.

Conditions are also affecting BNSF on multiple subdivisions in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma with several extensive washouts causing negative conditions throughout the “core of the BNSF network”.

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