Hurricane Michael Causes Catastrophic Damage

The near-Category 5 hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

October 11, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday, October 10, just 2 mph shy of being a Category 5 storm. Prior to this week’s storm, USA Today reported that no Category 4 hurricane had ever hit the Florida Panhandle since record-keeping began more than 150 years ago. The most recent Category 3 hurricane or stronger to hit the state was Hurricane Irma (115 mph) in September 2017.

USA Today reported that the hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph at landfall, and that damaging winds and floods could stretch from northern Florida into southeastern Virginia from Wednesday through Friday.

Following Hurricane Michael’s landfall near Mexico Beach in Bay County at approximately 2:00 pm EDT, Gov. Rick Scott formally requested that President Donald Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration. This will expedite resources and assistance for impacted communities from the federal government. Following Gov. Scott’s previous request, President Trump on Tuesday issued a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration.

States of emergency and hours of service waiver have been issued in certain counties in Florida, Alabama and Georgia; see Wednesday’s NACS Daily story, “Hurricane Michael to Hit Gulf Coast,” for information about those waivers.

North Carolina has issued a state of emergency as well, including waiving hours of service; however, most of the state continues to operation under a state of emergency due to Hurricane Florence. The hours of service waiver, as well as a waiver of certain size and weight restrictions, is in effect for 30 days. A link to the declaration is here. A link to the transportation waiver is here.

Kentucky has declared a state of emergency, including waiving hours of service. The waiver is in effect through November 10, 2018. A link to the declaration is here.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended a regional emergency declaration covering North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The declaration includes a waiver from hours of service requirements. The declaration is in effect until November 9, 2018. A link to the declaration is here.

NACS has resources relating to disaster preparedness and recovery at the Fuels Resource Center, such as:

  • How Disasters Affect Fuel Prices: Higher prices at the pump often lead the public to assume a retailer is price-gouging. ​
  • How Refineries and Pipelines Resume Operations: In the wake of an emergency or natural disaster, resuming operations at a refinery and pushing product through the pipeline is complex.
  • What UST Owners Can Do After a Flood: EPA resources cite best practices for helping underground storage tank owners and operators safely bring UST systems back into service.
  • When Mother Nature Strikes: Convenience stores do much more than sell daily essentials and an estimated 80% of the fuels purchased in the United States—they also play a critical role before and after a natural disaster such as a hurricane strikes.
NACS has partnered with the American Red Cross to advance community giving programs for NACS member companies, including donating to Red Cross relief efforts.