Flood damage cuts all rail access to Canada’s largest port of Vancouver
MERRITT — The port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest, said on Tuesday that all rail access had been cut by floods and landslides further to the east, a development that could hit shipments of grain, coal and potash.
Two days of torrential rain in British Columbia triggered major flooding and shut rail routes operated by Canadian Pacific Rail and Canadian National Railway, by far the country’s two biggest rail companies.
“All rail service coming to and from the Port of Vancouver is halted because of flooding in the British Columbia interior,” said port spokesperson Matti Polychronis.
The floods have also closed numerous highways, including all main routes to Vancouver, she said.
Del Dosdall, senior export manager at grain handler Parrish & Heimbecker, said he expected some rail service could be running by the weekend, although another industry source said he expected the shutdown to last weeks.
Some areas of British Columbia received 200 mm of rain on Sunday, the amount that usually falls in a month.
The storms also forced the closure of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which takes crude oil from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. The line has a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day.
(Writing by David Ljunggren; additional reporting by Nia Williams in Calgary, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; editing by Ed Osmond, Jonathan Oatis and Aurora Ellis)