Thursday, June 22, 2017

States loosen trucking regs due to Tropical Storm Cindy

Due to the impact of a tropical storm impacting the Gulf Coast and Southeast, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued emergency declarations, effective Tuesday, June 20.

Emergency Declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief, including direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services (such as electrical, sewer, water, and telecommunications) or essential supplies (such as feed, food and fuel). For further details, as well as a current list of state-by-state Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemption and Permits, see:

The temporary suspension of regulations only applies to drivers providing “direct assistance” to restore services such as power, sewer, water and telecommunications, or bringing supplies such as feed, food and fuel to the affected areas.

With flooding and possible tornadoes expected along the Gulf Coast, FMCSA is urging drivers to “drive with caution” along the I-10 corridor and in areas affected by the storm.

The warning is in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border, and includes Houston and Galveston, Texas; New Orleans, Lafayette and Lake Charles, La.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Mobile; Ala. The storm is expected to make landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border Thursday morning, but the National Weather Service says flooding is a concern Wednesday all across the Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Cindy officially made landfall on Wednesday, though the storm began impacting gulf states Tuesday. In its latest update Wednesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said the storm had weakened slightly, but little change is expected before it makes landfall. The storm is expected to dump 6-to-9 inches of rain, with isolated areas with up to 12 inches, over southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and portions of the western Florida panhandle, creating possible “life-threatening flash flooding,” according to the NHC.