The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a regional emergency declaration for 11 states and Washington, D.C. as Hurricane Florence, currently, a category four hurricane heads for the U.S. East Coast.
Hurricane Florence recorded winds of up to 130 miles per hour this morning. The storm is expected to make landfall on the North Carolina coast Thursday evening. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting for the storm to remain strong and be “an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night.”
The FMCSA’s declaration covers Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and D.C. It exempts truckers providing direct support of relief efforts related to the hurricane from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The declaration is effective immediately and will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency, or through Oct. 10, whichever is less.
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of the state’s coast. Residents in hurricane zones have been instructed to evacuate beginning no later than noon Tuesday, Sept. 11. At the same time, traffic along certain evacuation routes is being reversed. Those reversals are as follows:
- Charleston to Columbia: A full four-lane reversal on I-26 in Charleston will begin at the interchange of I-26 and I-526. The full reversal continues west until the I-26 crossover to I-77 just outside Columbia in Lexington County.
- Horry County: Horry County has two four-lane reversals along US 501: SC 544 to US 378; and US 501: Between SC 22 (Conway Bypass) to SC 576 near Marion County.
- For the Beaufort and Hilton Head area, the state will poise and be ready to reverse US 278 and US 21 if traffic conditions warrant.
“At this time, there is still some uncertainty about the track of this storm and its potential impact, but we are preparing for any possible outcome, including the potential of historic, catastrophic, and life-threatening flooding in Maryland,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “Our state is taking every precaution, and I urge all Marylanders to do the same. Stay tuned to your local news stations for the latest updates, listen to state and local authorities, and most importantly, use common sense.”