Earl making move toward Carolinas, New England region

| 8/31/2010

If you’re heading to the Mid-Atlantic region with a load, or happen to live there, you need to be keeping an eye on Hurricane Earl.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration – NOAA – issued an alert Tuesday morning warning residents and travelers in the mid-Atlantic region that the Category 4 storm could be moving that direction.

As of Tuesday morning, Aug.31, Earl was producing hurricane-force winds up to 70 miles from its center and tropical storm winds up to 200 miles out from the center. The storm is expected to stay a Category 4 hurricane for at least the next day or two, according to the agency’s latest public advisory.

Traveling in and out of areas bracing for Earl’s potential landfall can be tricky. Any state that initiates an evacuation order can reverse inbound lanes to assist with residents and travelers leaving the area.

The following are links to evacuation plans available for the coastal states in the Mid-Atlantic region under the most current threat of Earl:

As the path of Hurricane Earl becomes more evident and as information becomes available, Land Line will modify this list.

Many truckers faced a dilemma in past hurricane seasons – violate HOS and “get out of Dodge,” or comply with the regs and get stuck in the middle of a dangerous storm.

While it would seem that logic would kick in at some point and truckers would be allowed to save their hides, just like people living in the area, it hasn’t always worked out that way. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association fielded a number of questions and took a few complaints on this very subject during Katrina and Rita.

According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there is an automatic HOS exemption if an authorized government official issues a declaration of an emergency and the motor carrier is providing direct relief to the protection of human life or public welfare.

Specifically, federal regulations – CFR 49 Part 390.23 – allow the temporary lifting of certain safety regulations for any motor carrier or driver providing direct assistance in relief during a declared emergency. This includes easing the HOS regulations for drivers.

Truckers in an evacuation area wanting info on whether an HOS moratorium is in effect should contact an FMCSA regional service center.

The following list includes the location, phone number and territory included for each FMCSA regional service center. These numbers will be valuable in determining whether hours-of-service waivers have been issued for a region either threatened or hit by a hurricane or other disaster.

  • Eastern Service Center

    CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NJ, NH, NY, PA, Puerto Rico, RI, VA, VT, WV

  • Southern Service Center

    AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX

  • Midwestern Service Center

    IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MO, MN, NE, OH, WI

  • Western Service Center

    American Samoa, AK, AZ, CA, CO, Guam, HI, ID, Mariana Islands, MT, ND, NV, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY