(NEWTON, Kan.)—Bert Torres rarely notices the sounds of train crossing bells outside her Newton salon anymore.
“We just ignore it…it's like the radio in the background,” says Torres who works at the Cutting Edge Salon.
It faces the railroad tracks that divide the town of Newton. It’s an already busy set of tracks, that just got busier.
“There have been trains go through one right after another. It makes people irritated, but what do you do?” asks Torres.
The reason is Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks are underwater in many places along the Missouri River. Coal trains that use those tracks are now being re-routed through cities like Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City, Garden City and Wellington.
A spokesperson with the company says those towns could see 20 additional trains every day.
Once inspected, the submerged tracks will reopen within hours of the water receding. It could be weeks before that happens.
In parts of Iowa crews have raised four and half miles of track up to five feet and built a levee to keep a track open.