Bad Winter Ahead?

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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
I was browsing through the April, 1997 edition of Railfan & Railroad and came across an article titled Western Railroading's Worst Disaster. The article described the winter of 1996-97 as having the worst flooding in forty years with many western mainlines experiencing washouts and slides. That was the winter a slide took out a bluff and passing freight south of Edmonds at MP 16 (Pt. Wells). Nineteen years later, barnacle encrusted trucks and remnants of the cargo in the containers can still be found in the sand during the extreme low tides of late June/early July.

The weather pattern which caused the record flooding is called El Nino, caused by a warming of the Pacific Ocean. NOAA has documented that the Pacific Ocean is warming to a degree not seen since that winter of 1996-97 and predicts the most severe El Nino since then. Western railroads may be in for a wet and wild winter. Western railfans may want to lay plans to document the action.
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