The scope of damage projected by Hurricane Florence has resulted in 11 States now waiving trucking regulations ahead of the landfall. This includes Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware, along with D.C.
Hurricane Florence, which is currently a Category 4 storm, is forecasted to make landfall Thursday night with tropical storm conditions possible as early as Thursday morning on the Carolina coasts.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, on Monday, ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of the South Carolina coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence, which warrants the reversal of several highway lanes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has also issued a regional emergency declaration for 11 East Coast states and Washington, D.C.
FMCSA’s declaration includes Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware, along with D.C.
The declaration exempts truck drivers providing direct support of relief efforts related to the hurricane from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. They are specifically as follows:
- 390 FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS; GENERAL https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/390
- 391 QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLE (LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTORS https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/391
- 392 DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/392
- 393 PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/393
- 395 HOURS OF SERVICE OF DRIVERS https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/395
- 396 INSPECTION, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/396
- 397 TRANSPORTATION OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; DRIVING AND PARKING RULES https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/397
- 398 TRANSPORTATION OF MIGRANT WORKERS https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/398
- 399 EMPLOYEE SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/399
The declaration is effective immediately, and will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency, or through Oct. 10, 2018 whichever is less.
To accommodate the evacuees coming from the South Carolina coast, eastbound lanes of I-26 from the I-526 interchange in Charleston to the I-77 interchange near Columbia have been reversed Tuesday afternoon.
Coming from the Myrtle Beach area, U.S. Highway 501 lanes from South Carolina 544 to U.S. 378 will all flow westbound, along with U.S. 501 between South Carolina 22 (the Conway Bypass) and South Carolina 576. This reversal also began on Tuesday.
Finally, for the Beaufort and Hilton Head area, South Carolina DOT officials will be prepared to reverse U.S. 278 and U.S. 21 if traffic conditions warrant.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. NHC says a re-strengthening of the storm is forecasted, and it is expected to be “an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night”. Florence is forecast to make landfall on the coast of the Carolinas Thursday night, but tropical storm conditions are possible in the region as early as Thursday morning.
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