A message to BNSF customers about the effects of Hurricane Ike on BNSF
To our valued customers:
I am pleased to report that repairs to the causeway linking Galveston Island to the mainland have been completed, and the first BNSF train to the island since Hurricane Ike arrived in Galveston this morning. Terminal trackage on the island had been repaired earlier, and is being used to sort cars for area customers.
While all rail trackage damaged by Hurricane Ike has now been restored to service, many of our customers on the Texas Gulf Coast continue to feel the effects of the hurricane as they restore their own facilities. We have therefore established a permit embargo system for inbound carload shipments to certain destinations in order to maintain fluidity of our network in the area; our Customer Advisory has more details. Our goal is to return flows to normal and remove the permit embargo system as soon as possible.
The re-opening of the trackage damaged by Ike is a testament to the hard work and dedication of hundreds of BNSF people, whose commitment to meeting the needs of our customers never wavered despite the fact that many of them were impacted by the hurricane as well. As of Wednesday, September 24, BNSF had provided financial assistance to about 650 employees affected by the hurricane.
Our concern for those struggling to put their lives back together in Ike’s wake goes beyond BNSF employees, of course. The BNSF Foundation is planning a $200,000 grant to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund created by Houston Mayor Bill White, and will match up to a total of $50,000 from employees and customers.
To qualify for the BNSF Foundation match, customer donations to the fund must be at least $50 and made in the form of a company check signed by a duly authorized person. Checks should be made out to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund and mailed to: BNSF Foundation, 2650 Lou Menk Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76131-2830 for forwarding to the Ike Relief Fund. Donations will be matched from September 25 through October 31.
Thank you for helping us to support this worthy effort, for your patience and understanding during this extraordinary event and its aftermath, and, as always, for your business.
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer