Water, water, everywhere…

Here in DC we have had barely a drop of rain for what seems to have been months. Temperatures have also been unusually high for a long stretch. Just yesterday we hit another temperature record for that day. Not since 1871 have we had a 2nd of October were the mercury topped out at 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 Celsius).  In fact, the US National Weather Service just declared that our area is now in a “flash drought!” Well, our electricity bill seems to be corroborating all this: the air conditioning system in our house seems to be running constantly!

Unfortunately other parts of the US had a much worse problem. A wide swath of the US Midwest has been soaked with constant rain. The Missouri and Mississippi River levels have risen to critical flood stage levels and inundated low lying towns and farmlands.

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As can be expected, the railroads in the Midwest have also been affected severely. A good part of the BNSF system and the Norfolk Southern system have been underwater or are plainly impassable.

 

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A BNSF train stuck in flood waters (Photos by AP)

The Norfolk Southern Railway has had its share of troubles also. A friend of mine forwarded me a video clip on Facebook, showing the collapse of the railroad’s Grand River Bridge at Brunswick, Missouri. This is one of the main lines of the railroad. The river carried a huge amount of tree detritus downriver, getting jammed up at the bridge. Thus the railroad decided to cut the rails at the span, to be able to somewhat control the collapse. Here is the bridge collapse video.

And here is what’s left:

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(Norfolk Southern Photograph)

 

Now a bit of a rant and editorializing on my part:

The video link and subsequent idea for the blog entry came to me from a friend (he found the video on Facebook) who knows that I am interested in all things railroad. I have always, and will always, show the greatest appreciation and thanks for friends and readers, who forward railroad related items to me. Please do keep them coming!

Facebook on the other hand is an entirely different matter. I find “Zuckerbook” unethical and dangerous. It sucks up even the smallest morsel regarding your personal life without your knowledge or approval, EVEN when one is not on their own web site. There is no way for you to delete anything, to be “forgotten”, so to speak. Anything and everything you upload to your account is in fact owned by Facebook: your commentary, your photos, your videos, your pdfs, everything! The company has no moral compass, except to collect more billions of dollars. Somehow Facebook reminds me of the “robber barons” of yore. But at least the robber barons eventually developed a conscience.

 

 

 

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