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Hot Shots: Historic Flooding, Hefty Haul And More

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 Hurricane Ida’s historic Northeast flooding, a behemoth piece of equipment heading to Ida-damaged Louisiana, and more.

Ida’s Inundation

Hurricane Ida struck the Gulf Coast last weekend, making landfall Sunday at the Louisiana coast as a Category 4 storm. Flooding and wind damage hit from southern Louisiana to western Florida, spreading inland.

At one point, more than a million customers in Louisiana had no electricity, including the entire city of New Orleans. Ida’s remnants produced major flooding Wednesday in the Northeast. Central Park in New York City had a record daily rainfall of 7.13 inches, almost double the average rainfall for the entire month of September.

Almost half the rain — 3.2 inches — accumulated in just one hour, and the National Weather Service issued its first-ever flash flood emergency for New York City. The storm also produced several damaging tornadoes and is being blamed for at least 40 deaths so far.

USACE is working in partnership with the local, state, and federal response to Hurricane #Ida in missions like temporary emergency power. This morning four @fema emergency power generators were prepared for departure to Thibodaux Regional Medical Center in Thibodaux, Louisiana. pic.twitter.com/BqizegCcFq

— USACE HQ (@USACEHQ) September 2, 2021

Helping Hand

A Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company is doing its part in the Hurricane Ida recovery efforts.

Industrial Boiler and Mechanical (IB&M) offers various steam plant solutions, such as emergency rentals. The Waterford 3 nuclear plant, which provides electricity to customers in Louisiana, was shut down as a precaution due to the storm. IB&M sent a massive piece of equipment to help get the plant back online.

IB&M President and Founder Randy Massingill said nuclear plants have to be turned back on gradually, and one of his 130,000-pound boilers can do just that. “Getting power, electricity up to those people who need it to be able to run their homes, their lights, their freezers, all those things,” Massingill told WRCB-TV. 

Wildfire Shutdowns

The Dixie and Caldor wildfires — the two largest in the country — spread aggressively this week in northern and eastern California, respectively. Crews have had trouble setting up containment lines on the ground and suppressing the fires from the air, mainly because of windy weather. The air remains extremely dry and the fire areas, along with much of the West, have been in a serious long-term drought.

The Caldor fire, in particular, has been harder to control, and it threatens the popular resort area of Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada line. Tens of thousands of people have evacuated South Lake Tahoe and smaller nearby towns. Many roads in the region remain closed, and all Nevada state parks near the Tahoe basin have temporarily shut down.

The U.S. Forest Service has closed all national forests in California through Sep.

17 because of large wildfires statewide. Weather conditions are expected to improve through the weekend.

Off The Rails

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is investigating a collision between Canadian National Railway (CN) cargo trains in Prescott, Ontario, about 60 miles south of Ottawa. The accident, which occurred just after 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, left one of the train’s crew members with minor injuries. One of the locomotives reportedly had a minor fuel leak, according to a CBC report, but no hazardous materials seemed to have spilled. CN officials said four locomotives containing 16 cars went off the tracks in various positions.

The TSB has deployed investigators to the crash site. The collision happened on the Via Rail’s Kingston line, causing delays for passengers traveling between Montreal and Toronto. Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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Image by Linda Russ from Pixabay