States Claim Hurricane Ida Emergency
Hurricane Ida is being called the largest hurricane to hit the United States since Katrina in 2005. As such, the government wants to provide assistance to the affected people as soon as possible. Here is how truckers are affected.
Hurricane Ida Emergency Details
Here are the various emergency declarations and what they entail.
Southern and Western FMCSA Centers
This is the most typical emergency declaration. It involves the suspension of hours-of-service for good and passenger haulers, provided that they follow the other rules of the road. You can read the declaration in full on the relevant FMCSA webpage. Applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
Beyond the regional declaration above, also prohibits price gouging and suspends COVID-19 restrictions that would get in the way of recovery. For example, being unable to save someone trapped under debris due to social distancing. The entire declaration can be read on the webpage.
Price gouging is prohibited, and Section 4 states “All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in actions the State may take in response to the effects of this severe weather event.” While the state declaration does not mention hours-of-service, its suspension is implied by the FMCSA’s own declaration. Click the link to read the declaration.
The shortest declaration, it essentially states “all agencies of the State of Mississippi shall discharge their emergency responsibilities as deemed necessary as set forth in the State of Mississippi’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.” The FMCSA has a webpage on the Mississippi declaration as well.
Of all the states, Kentucky has by far the most impact on truckers. Not only is there the typical suspension of hours-of-service regulations, but there are other waivers:
- Requirement of stopping at weigh stations.
- Permit fees for overweight/oversized vehicles (permit presumably still required).
- International Registration Plan requirements.
If you drive for Kentucky under this Executive Order from Jim Gray, you are required to have a copy of it in the cab. For more information, see the FMCSA webpage.
Not much is directly mentioned about trucks, however, $2,000,000 from the state’s General Fund is being assigned for goods and services to deal with the disaster, which could include shipments.
Such contracts might be lucrative. Read more at the FMCSA webpage.
Allows agencies to waive fees, but does not list the specific fees waived. Additionally, it prohibits price gouging and appropriates $1,000,000 of the General Fund, much like with Pennsylvania. $300,000 is earmarked for the Department of Military Affairs. You can learn more about Virginia’s State of Emergency at the FMCSA webpage.
The shortest of the declarations, it says nothing about truckers. It is also hard to say that it falls under the jurisdiction of the Southern and Western Service Centers of the FMCSA, so we advise traveling within hours-of-service when helping West Virginia just to be sure. Here is the informational webpage from the FMCSA.
Hurricane Ida brings to light an interesting phenomenon. The eastern half of the United States has too much water; the western half cannot get enough. Perhaps an infrastructure project to funnel water from east to west can solve both problems, such as the building of an artificial river. Such an extensive project might cost a lot of money, but the government has spent plenty of money on worse!
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