It's unclear how long it will take for a Chariton County railroad bridge to recover after floating flood debris washes it out.
It was Tuesday night when the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge in Brunswick began to buckle under the stress of the debris. Brunswick Emergency Management Director Brent Dickerson says the railroad is used to dealing with this sort of situation, just not at this magnitude.
"This logjam was pretty well the whole width of the Grand River and approximately a quarter-mile long. All the bridge debris that came down the river; the logs, trees, whatever, caught on the bridge which is normal for them. The railroad usually has draglines and track hoes to move it to let it go on by but once it built up so much, it kind of got ahead of them."
In an effort to reduce additional risk to the rail line, Norfolk Southern engineers cut the bridge loose, letting it fall into the river. Meanwhile, Coast Guard officials have been tracking the logjam. Dickerson says it appears to be breaking up and hasn't caused any additional bridge damage downriver.
Access to the Grand River and the local marina in Brunswick reopened yesterday afternoon. Dickerson said they wanted to wait until the debris cleared before allowing boaters back on that stretch of water.
Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern reports it has no estimate on when the bridge will be restored to service.