Every Friday, FreightWaves takes a look at the past week or so in social media, highlighting images in trucking, transportation and weather. This week features a truck spill in Oregon that shut down an interstate highway, the exploding Caldor fire in eastern California and more.
A truck carrying barrels of apple juice concentrate crashed late Wednesday morning on Interstate 84 in eastern Oregon. Sections of the highway were closed for several hours between Pendleton and Ontario, a stretch of about 170 miles.
It took crews several hours to clean up the mess and remove the truck, which was hanging over the edge of a bridge. Crews also had to remove the crash debris and repair a damaged guardrail. As of Friday morning, there was no word on the cause of the crash or whether the driver was hurt.
Smoke on the water
The Caldor fire in eastern California has exploded, and response crews are afraid it may get closer to Lake Tahoe soon. Because of weather and limited resources, crews have had trouble controlling the fire, which started Aug. 14. It’s one of the latest of nearly 90 large wildfires burning across the country.
Spot fires have jumped U.S. Highway 50 on the northern side of the blaze. A long section of the road remains shut down from the fire area to just south of South Lake Tahoe. Thick smoke from the fire has spread across Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada line, and Nevada state parks near Lake Tahoe have been closed all week due to the unhealthy air. They may not reopen until Sep. 7, at the earliest.
Tropical Storm Henri hit southern New England and parts of the mid-Atlantic last weekend with wicked winds and torrential rain. The storm stalled over the Northeast for a few days, dousing areas from New York City to Boston and knocking out power to more than 100,000 customers at its peak.
Some of the highest wind gusts, reaching 70 mph, struck Rhode Island. Meanwhile, streets flooded in Brooklyn, New York, and many other locations in several states. Henri dumped rain totals of 6-8 inches in some spots. If Henri had become a hurricane, it would have been the first one to make landfall in New England since Hurricane Bob in August 1991.
Ida’s impending threat
Speaking of hurricanes, Ida has the potential to cause catastrophic damage in parts of the Gulf Coast. It quickly strengthened from a tropical storm Thursday afternoon to a Category 1 hurricane by early Friday afternoon. It will move over western Cuba Friday night, then into the Gulf of Mexico by early Saturday.
Because the Gulf waters are very warm, and there’s little wind shear, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting Ida to rapidly intensify into a Category 3 major hurricane over the weekend, sustaining its strength at landfall. Sunday landfall is likely somewhere along the Louisiana coast, but could happen in southern Mississippi. Widespread power outages and life-threatening flooding are likely in places from New Orleans and Morgan City, Louisiana, to Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.
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