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Hot Shots: Best freight-related social posts of the week

Highlighting images in trucking, transportation and weather

Every Friday, FreightWaves takes a look back at the week in social media highlighting trucking, transportation and weather. This week features severe storms in the Plains, a truck spill in Atlanta and a progress report on a major bridge repair in the South.


A truck driver is OK after Irving, Texas, police said he tried to beat a train that ended up crashing into his trailer. The video may be difficult for some people to watch, but to reiterate: The accident was not fatal.

A spokesperson for Dallas Area Rapid Transit said a Trinity Railway Express train was westbound when it hit the 18-wheeler in the late afternoon hours of May 17. It happened on North MacArthur Boulevard between the West Irving Station and Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station.

According to police, the truck tried crossing the tracks as the train was approaching but the driver got caught between barrier arms. One person on the train suffered a minor injury, and the police said the trailer was empty at the time of the crash.

Say it ain’t snow

Heaping amounts of snow piled up in parts of western Montana the weekend of May 22-23. Some high elevations received 12 to 16 inches, which is a fairly hefty amount for a late-season storm. It stopped traffic on Bozeman Pass, elevation 5,700 feet, due to an accident on Interstate 90.

Super soaker

Areas of the South Central U.S. were devastated by periods of flash flooding over the past week. It was particularly bad Monday in Fayette County, Texas, about 65 miles east of Austin, where a tanker got stuck in high water.

Flash flooding in Fayette County, Texas, on Monday. (Photo: Fayette County, Texas EMS Facebook)

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), parts of the Houston metropolitan area had Monday rain totals exceeding 8 inches, prompting flash flood warnings.

We’ll cross that bridge … eventually

The Interstate 40 bridge over the Mississippi River remains closed due to a structural issue. Earlier this month an Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) engineer spotted a fractured beam during a routine inspection. ARDOT immediately shut down the crossing that connects Memphis to eastern Arkansas.

Related: I-40 bridge over Mississippi River to remain closed indefinitely

Kiewit Infrastructure Group completed the first phase of repairs this week, installing fabricated steel plates on each side of the fractured beam to secure it. The second phase will involve cleaning up the work site and extending the platform while the design plans are finalized for the next round of repairs.

Hail of a storm

Severe weather slammed portions of the Plains this week. The NWS received 28 tornado reports Wednesday in Texas, Kansas and Nebraska combined, as well as dozens of reports of large hail and straight-line wind damage. Fortunately, it had no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Softball-size hail fell in Hays, Kansas, while a wind gust of 85 mph blasted Amherst, Texas (near Lubbock). Weather in the nation’s heartland should be much tamer for the first half of the Memorial Day weekend.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his nearly 20 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.

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