Several chemical manufacturing sites were temporarily cut off from getting supplies by rail because of debris and washed-away tracks caused by Hurricane Ida.

Cornerstone Chemical, Occidental Chemical Corp., Bayer Cropscience, Dow Chemical, Kinder Morgan and International-Matex Tank Terminals had embargoes for nearby railroads in Westwego, Luling and Hahnville, records on file with Union Pacific show. Embargoes are used by the rail industry to control traffic when there's debris on the tracks or other issues.

Along the path of the storm there were damaged stretches of train tracks and fallen power lines. Some areas were washed out by the extensive flooding. But much of the rail service across the state was still operational and the rest of the system is expected to return in the next couple of days.

"After Katrina, freight railroads were able to safely reopen before many other entities in the region, which was vital to get in life sustaining supplies and jumpstart the region’s recovery. They are on track to do that again," said Jessica Kahanek, spokesperson for the Association of American Railroads, an industry group.

Rail system maps said the section of washed out tracks along the Bonnet Carre Spillway are owned by Canadian National Railway. The company is still assessing damages and anticipates delays but did not provide a timeline for restoration. 

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"CN’s crews are working safely and diligently to address the impact that that the storm has had on our network. We are working closely with local utility providers to regain power to our infrastructure," said Mathieu Gaudreault spokesperson for Canadian National Railway. 

While most of the Louisiana network for Union Pacific has resumed service, the route from St. James to New Orleans was closed until Thursday afternoon.

"We are working to clear debris from our tracks and install generators along our railroad where commercial power has yet to return," said Robynn Tysver, spokesperson for Union Pacific Railroad. Service is being impacted by downed power lines on the Norfolk Southern line just east of Union Pacific's bridge.

Kansas City Southern's New Orleans and Gulfport lines were closed until Thursday, but delays are expected.


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com or follow her on Twitter @k_mosbrucker