After pummeling the Bahamas for a few days, Hurricane Dorian has begun to move toward the Atlantic coast of the U.S., prompting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue a regional emergency declaration in 10 states and two U.S. territories that suspends certain trucking regulations.
FMCSA has suspended Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations. The suspended regulations include those concerned with hours of service, inspection, repair, and maintenance, hazardous materials transportation, driving, parking, and other health and safety standards. By lifting these regulations, FMCSA aims to ease the flow of emergency goods, fuel and aid to and from the region.
The emergency declaration covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At its peak, Hurricane Dorian was classified as a Category 5 Hurricane with sustained winds of over 157 mph, but after stalling over the Bahamas and bringing devastation to the island nation, the storm by the afternoon of Sept. 3 had been reduced to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of up to 110 m.p.h., according to The Weather Channel.
Dorian has yet to make landfall in the U.S. and the worst of its winds have so far remained off shore, but wind and rain is already affecting parts of Florida and gusts of 74 mph are expected.
It is still uncertain when and where the Hurricane could make landfall. Projections as of Sept. 3 project the storm missing most of Florida and Georgia before possibly making contact in the Carolinas.
Several ports in the region have closed until the storm passes, including the Jacksonville Port Authority, Ports of Miami and the Everglades in Florida, and the ports of Savanah and New Brunswick in Georgia, according to Supplychaindrive.com. The Ports of Charleston and Georgetown in South Carolina and the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City in North Carolina are expected to close on Sept. 4.
Geotab is using data from its fleet customers to track commercial vehicle traffic volume and to see how prepared fleets in the region are for Hurricane Dorian. The percentage of vehicles with at least a half a tank of gas is approaching 50% in most parts of Florida, particularly in coastal regions, according to the company. In a blog post, Geotab stated that while fuel levels are not a complete indicator for preparedness, the company is urging its commercial fleet customers to ensure their vehicles have enough fuel to safely weather the storm.