Flooding washes out rail service across much of northwestern U.S.

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Volunteers build a levee to hold back floodwaters in rural North Dakota
Volunteers build a levee to hold back floodwaters in rural North Dakota

Flooding across parts of northern North Dakota has shut down all Amtrak passenger rail service between St. Paul, Minn., and Spokane, Wash. – a distance of about 1350 miles -- including all service in the entire state of Montana.

Rail travel in North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Minnesota, (except in St. Paul) will be cancelled through Thursday.
Amtrak said that the railway station in Minot, N.D, was closed after water seeped into the basement. Flooding in Devils Lake, ND is of particular concern.

“Some of this [the reopening of railway travel] will depend on the wave action on Devils Lake,” said a spokesman for Amtrak. “But the local flooding in Minot is an issue, even if the wind settles down on Devils Lake.”

About 10,000 people living in the vicinity of the Souris River in Minot have received an evacuation order. This river runs close to the Amtrak station in Minot.

“According to what local authorities have told us, the river will overtake the general area of the station sometime later today,” the spokesman said.

Amtrak added that it will refunding fares for canceled service – the tickets will keep their cash value for a year,

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