US CSX limits S Carolina rail service ahead of Hurricane Ian

Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)–CSX is limiting rail service in South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on Friday.

For the CSX subsidiary Total Distribution Services Inc (TDSI), Dixiana (Columbia, South Carolina) has closed and will remain closed on Saturday.

TDSI transloads customers’ products from one transportation mode to another.

For CSX’s TRANSFLO subsidiary, Savannah Georgia, was closed on Thursday and will remain closed on Friday. Next week, CSX will provide updates on when Savannah could reopen.

TRANSFLO closed its operations in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday.

TRANSFLO moves bulk commodities from rail to truck or truck to rail.

So far, Norfolk Southern said it has not suffered any disruptions. Nonetheless, it warned customers that shipments moving through the southeast and mid-Atlantic should prepare for delays.

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) closed all marine terminals on Friday. SC Ports owns and operates the ports of Charleston and Georgetown.

The DAK Americas idled its operations plant at Cooper River, South Carolina, “out of an abundance of caution”, it said. The plant produces polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Charleston, South Carolina is home to Braskem’s US polypropylene (PP) terminal. The terminal provides packaging, warehousing and export shipping services.

CSX resumed train operations between Waycross, Georgia, and Tampa and Winston, Florida.

For Intermodal,

  • CSX reopened gates at Central Florida ILC and Tampa, Florida.
  • CSX is maintaining normal gate hours at Jacksonville, Florida, but bad weather is sporadically halting lift operations.


  • Orlando (Sanford) has tentative plans to reopen on Friday.
  • Palm Center resumed normal operating hours on Friday.
  • Tampa resumed normal operating hours on Friday.
  • Jacksonville should resume normal operating hours midday on Friday.

For CSX’s TRANSFLO subsidiary,

  • Tampa is resuming normal operating hours on Friday.
  • Tampa Port is resuming normal operating hours on Friday.
  • Sanford, Florida will remain closed on Friday and resume normal operating hours on Saturday.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, will remain closed on Friday and resume normal operating hours on Saturday.

Florida East Coast Railway is resuming limited local carload service at its Hialeah and Pompano markets.

On Friday, it plans to resume amended mainline train operations.

It plans to re-open ramp gates at Jacksonville, Titusville and Fort Pierce on Friday. It has already re-opened ramp gates at Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Ian made its second landfall at 14:15 hours local time (18:15 hours GMT), near Georgetown, South Carolina, which is about 60 miles (97 km) northeast from Charleston, South Carolina.

Minutes before making landfall, Ian had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles/hour, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The real-estate information firm CoreLogic estimates that Ian could cause $28bn-47 billion in damage, with the figure likely rising,

Ian made its first landfall near Fort Myers, Florida, on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, with wind speeds of 150 miles/hour.

Credit-rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said Hurricane Ian could cause up to $65bn in damage and lost output in the state of Florida alone.

The storm passed through some of the most expensive housing markets in Florida, Moody’s said. The storm could cause $45bn-55bn in property damage and $7bn-10bn in lost output.

Damage from Ian’s second landfall to the states of North and South Carolina could range from a few billion dollars to tens of billions, Moody’s said.

“So far it looks like Hurricane Ian is on track to rank among the more costly natural disasters of recent years,” Moody’s said.

Money from the federal government and insurance companies should flow into Florida and the Carolinas to rebuild houses damaged by Ian, Moody’s said.

Earlier, the real-estate research firm CoreLogic said that more than 7.2m single-and multi-family homes worth $1.6tr were at moderate to high risk of flash flooding from Hurricane Ian.

The damage and efforts to rebuild can translate to increased demand for many chemicals and polymers that are used in the construction sector.

The white pigment titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in paints.

Solvents used in paints and coatings include butyl acetate (butac), butyl acrylate (butyl-A), ethyl acetate (etac), glycol ethers, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and isopropanol (IPA).

Blends of aliphatic and aromatic solvents are also used to make paints and coatings.

For polymers, expandable polystyrene (EPS) and polyurethane (PUR) foam are used in insulation.

Polyurethanes are made of methylene diphenyl diisocycanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and polyols.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is used in pipe. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used to make cladding, window frames, wires and cables, flooring and roofing membranes.

Unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) are used to make coatings and composites.

Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) is used to make paints and adhesives.

Thumbnail shows a railroad. Image by Shutterstock.

Additional reporting by Melissa Wheeler, Adam Yanelli, and JT Strasner


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