CSX, NS begin hurricane preparations; NS headquarters closed by evacuation order

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CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern have begun preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Florence, with NS closing its Norfolk, Va., headquarters following an evacuation order by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.

Northam's order, for the lowest-lying areas of coastal Virginia, took effect at 8 a.m. this morning. Norfolk Southern has notified customers its intermodal customer service team will unavailable by phone during the evacuation. The railroad also cancelled a scheduled by executives at a Morgan Stanley investors' conference scheduled for Friday in Southern California in order to focus on its hurricane efforts.

CSX has activiated its Hurricane Action Plan, which includes protecting equipment in the storm’s projected path and preparing areas that could be impacted. It is advising customers to expect delays for any shipments traveling through the Interstate 95 corridor.

CSX also has advised shippers that it will halt rail service to and from Portsmouth, Va., today. As of noon today, it will close all gates for Portsmouth traffic and no longer accept empty containers bound for Portsmouth and the Virginia Port Authority; customers are encouraged to bill empties to other available port destinations. Also, the CSX-served Portsmouth, Va., terminal will close today at 5 p.m. and remain closed through the storm.

At Charleston, S.C., the CSX-served terminal will close Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 5 p.m. and remain closed through the storm. Final train arrivals to and from Charleston will be aligned to the terminal closure and subject to change as more information becomes available.

Norfolk Southern stopped accepting intermodal shipments destined for Norfolk (Portlock), Norfolk International Terminal, and Virginia Inland Gateway on Monday. As of Monday, other intermodal facilities were scheduled to maintain normal hours, but other gate and terminal closures may occur as Florence nears landfall. Additional updates will be available on the Norfolk Southern website.

— Updated at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 to include closure of NS headquarters.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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