Relief on rails: BNSF Railway helps Convoy of Hope assist hurricane victims

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. The wind and rain are gone, but the storm is far from over in Haiti. Hurricane Matthew killed 546 people there, and left 175,000 homeless.

"The people in Haiti are suffering so badly from lack of food, from cholera, from lack of clean water," explained Jeff Nene, National Spokesperson for Convoy of Hope, the Springfield-based humanitarian organization.

Convoy of Hope was ready to respond following the disaster. This time. Because of the size of the response, an entire train was dedicated to carrying the supplies out of Springfield.

Convoy teamed with Mission of Hope Haiti and BNSF Railway to load 45 shipping containers. The loads contain 11.8 million meals, along with water, cleaning supplies and tools.

The agency says the effort to load 45 containers in 36 hours was nothing short of a miracle. Convoy usually loads 10 to 20 containers per week.

Nene explained, "We are a faith based organization and you feel like there is no way we can do that on our own strength."

The containers were trucked to an intermodal center near Kansas City, where they were put on rail cars for the trip south. Once they arrive in Florida, a ship will take the supplies the rest of the way to Haiti.

BNSF Railway says the containers won't be coming back to the U.S. They'll likely be modified into housing units or other uses for storm victims.