Relief efforts underway in aftermath of Midwest storms

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 3/2/2012

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms on Wednesday, Feb. 29, left 12 people dead and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. As the relief effort continues, states are issuing waivers to truckers hauling emergency supplies to affected areas. Following is a roundup of special orders, alerts and waiver information.

In Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn issued a state disaster proclamation covering the southern third of the state. Six people were confirmed dead and some 300 homes and businesses destroyed in Harrisburg, IL, a town of 9,000.

State emergency agencies are coordinating with the American Red Cross for relief.

Truckers hauling emergency supplies to affected areas can obtain oversized-overweight permits in about 30 minutes by calling 800-252-8636 within the state or 217-785-1477 from outside the state.

Permits for so-called super loads can take longer, but the Illinois Department of Transportation will expedite permits for super loads hauling relief supplies if the trucker or carrier takes the proper steps.

“If they know it’s a super load headed to an affected area, please note that on the application, give us the application number and we can get it moved to the top of the line,” a staff member in the permitting office said.

In Missouri, where three people died during Wednesday’s storms, the Department of Public Safety issued an emergency declaration lasting through Wednesday, March 7. The declaration includes waivers for carriers participating in emergency relief. The waivers affect carriers under load and empty if they are traveling to or from affected areas.

Truckers requesting expedited oversized/overweight permits in Missouri can contact 573-291-4517 or 573-291-4853.

For International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and International Registration Plan permits, truckers can call 866-831-6277. The waivers apply only to those directly involved in emergency relief.

Storms in Tennessee claimed three lives on Wednesday. The office that handles overweight and over-dimensional permits for truckers had not received any executive orders pertaining to emergency relief as of Friday according to office staff.

Same with Kentucky, where the Transportation Cabinet had not issued any specific guidelines or waivers to truckers as of Friday

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway did issue an alert for residents and storm victims, asking them to be wary of potential scam artists that may try to profit in the aftermath of the storms. Conway issued a list of tips for storm victims to avoid being scammed. The Kentucky Consumer Protection Hotline is 888-432-9257.

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