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Updated: Nebraska flooding, viewed from an Amtrak car

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We received this email from a traveler heading eastbound on Amtrak’s California Zephyr across Nebraska, which, along with other Midwest states, has been inundated with floodwaters from the Missouri River.    

June 29. The train is gliding slowly through what appears at times as a huge lake. The water is so close to the tracks that I can't see the embankment at all. Only water. Before we crossed the Missouri River I stayed in my room and saw only one side. From the observation car I can now see that we are frequently on a long long isthmus of protected tracks.

I have seen the top half of telephone poles, house roof tops, the top of a pickup truck, truck tankers.

We crossed the Missouri on a high bridge. It was impossible to tell where the banks were.

The train is going about 20 mph and moving very quietly, with almost no bumping or swaying.

This is an amazing experience for me. It must be a horrible experience for those who live here.

Update: Amtrak has suspended service on two routes due to flooding. It canceled service between St. Louis and Kansas City on the Amtrak Missouri River Runner "at least through July 6." It also suspended service until further notice between St. Paul, Minn., and Havre, Mont., on its Empire Builder trains. 

The tortoise and the air

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It's a familiar story: You got up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport to catch an important flight to a critical meeting (or that cruise ship that's sailing at 4:30 sharp.) And now that flight is delayed.

By mechanical failures? Crew scheduling? Birds? Weather?

Try: turtles.

The Associated Press reported that dozens of flights at New York's Kennedy Airport today were delayed by an average of 30 minutes after about 150 turtles crawled onto, and across, the tarmac.

JetBlue also tweeted the news, adding #cantmakethisup.

Why did the turtle cross the road? According to the AP report, this migration happens every year. The airport is built near New York's Jamaica Bay, and in late June or early July the diamondback terrapins leave the bay and crawl, slow-and-steady-like, toward a beach to lay their eggs.

As for 3 p.m. delays at JFK were still down to 15 minutes or less.

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