Extreme Winter Weather Continues to Impact Operations

Announcement Number: CN2021-11
Categories: General Announcements
Posted Date: February 15, 2021

To Our Customers,

Extreme winter weather and sub-zero temperatures continue to impact rail operations. Below is the latest update on both the current conditions facing our network and a look ahead at the anticipated weather conditions in the South, Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

Recent Weather Impacts
Several areas of our operating territory have experienced widespread interstate and road closures as a result of this weekend’s winter storms. These closures have impacted our ability to transport crews in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin and Washington.

We have also experienced significant power outages across the South and the Pacific Northwest. Generators are being utilized in numerous locations until commercial power resumes.

Intermodal Gate Closures
To keep our terminals fluid, all ingates at Union Pacific terminals will close effective tomorrow, February 16, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. in the terminal's respective time zone. We anticipate the closures to last approximately 72 hours. Exceptions to the ingate closures include:

  • All international shipments that currently originate or terminate at LA/Long Beach on-dock terminals only will continue to be accepted, and will operate on extra schedules as resources allow (ingates to ICTF will also be closed).
  • Westbound domestic interline shipments sponsored by NS, CSX, CPRS or CN will be accepted at all interchange points.
  • All shipments to and from Seattle and Tacoma will be closed for approximately 48 hours; however, international shipments to and from Tacoma on-dock will continue to be accepted.

Please note that all terminals will continue to be open for outgates, and we strongly urge you to assist the network recovery process by continuing to pull notified units.

Weather Outlook

  • A winter storm system will develop tomorrow night moving over the northern part of Texas, most of Arkansas and moving eastward through parts of Missouri and Illinois, as well as northern Louisiana. Snowfall totals may be as high as 6-12 inches in Little Rock and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, as well as Chicago. Additional icing in the southern part of the weather band is also expected.
  • Arctic temperatures in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois are expected to subside beginning Wednesday.
  • In the Pacific Northwest, a heavy snow event will continue to affect the Cascades to the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia Basin through Tuesday night.

What to Expect
Customers should anticipate delays of a minimum of 72 hours for shipments in the impacted areas until conditions improve and severe weather recovery efforts are complete.

During this time, we remain focused on delivering your freight as quickly as possible. Equipment, resources and crews remain positioned throughout our network to assist with current recovery efforts and to prepare for the adverse conditions ahead.

We appreciate your patience. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Care & Support at 800-272-8777 or your Union Pacific representative.