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The National Hurricane Center's latest projected track of Hurricane Irma has prompted the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to postpone its Sept. 12 listening session concerning CSX's rail service issues, the board announced yesterday.The center has projected landfall in southern Florida early on Sept. 11. CSX's headquarters are based in Jacksonville, Fla."The board understands that CSX and many rail shippers are currently focused on hurricane preparedness efforts in areas that could be affected by the storm," STB officials said in a press release. "The board does not want to divert attention or resources to require CSX's senior management team to be in Washington, D.C., and away from its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters."STB officials scheduled the public listening session last month to respond to customer complaints and a petition from shippers about a deterioration in CSX service since the railroad began restructuring its operating model to precision scheduled railroading.The listening session will be rescheduled "as soon as practicable," STB officials said.Meanwhile, Federal Railroad Acting Administrator Heath Hall yesterday declared Hurricane Irma's imminent threat to railroad operations constitutes an "emergency event."The National Hurricane Center has described Irma as an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm and advised that "preparations be rushed to completion in the hurricane warning area," Hall stated in the declaration.Florida officials on Monday declared a state of emergency for all of the state's 67 counties in anticipation of hurricane force winds, torrential rains, flooding and storm surges.
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