Hours regs suspended in 8 states as hurricane approaches

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UPDATE, 3:22 p.m., Oct. 10: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Southern Service Center has issued a regional emergency declaration for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The declaration comes ahead of Hurricane Michael, which is expected to make landfall Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.

Truck drivers providing direct emergency assistance to the included states have been granted relief from Parts 390 through 399 of federal regulations for the duration of the emergency.

Drivers supporting emergency relief efforts hauling supplies, equipment, fuel, and people into and out of the affected states will be able to operate under the temporary exemption. The declaration is effective as of Tuesday afternoon and will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency, or until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 9, whichever is sooner.

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m., Oct. 10: Georgia has added itself to the list of states under an emergency declaration in advance of Hurricane Michael.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s emergency declaration covers 92 counties for seven days: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Grady, Hancock, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth counties.

This emergency declaration suspends hours regulations for drivers aiding in storm recovery efforts.

In Florida, President Donald Trump earlier today approved Gov. Rick Scott’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for the 35 counties Gov. Scott has placed under a state of emergency.

Hurricane Michael has the potential to affect truck stops in the affected areas. While no Love’s Travel Stops locations are currently closed, the truck stop chain does have three locations listed in high threat areas. Drivers can monitor for potential Love’s closures here.

OUR ORIGINAL STORY: Florida Gov. Rick Scott has expanded the list of counties included in his state of emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Michael, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has also issued an emergency declaration. Michael is forecast to make landfall in the Florida panhandle Wednesday night, possibly as a Category 3 hurricane.

Scott’s declaration now covers the following 35 counties: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwanee, Lafayette, Dixie, Gilchrist, Levy, Citrus, Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Alachua, Union, Bradford and Baker Counties.

Additionally, a mandatory evacuation order has been issued for parts of Bay County, Gulf County, and Franklin County. A complete list of evacuation orders, both mandatory and voluntary, is available online from Florida’s Division of Emergency Management.

Gov. Scott’s declaration suspends hours regulations for drivers aiding in storm recovery efforts. Gov. Scott has also sent a request to Pres. Donald Trump asking him to declare a pre-landfall emergency for the State of Florida.

Ivey issued an emergency declaration in anticipation of widespread power outages, wind damage, and debris from high winds and heavy rain associated with the storm. The declaration, like Florida’s, suspends hours regs for driver hauling materials, goods, supplies, and services in the aftermath of the storm.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Hurricane Michael will bring a flash flooding threat to the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend regions, as well as into Georgia and even South Carolina. Life-threatening storm surges are likely along coasts of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend, and Nature Coast.