States of Emergency Issued for Hurricane Florence

The East Coast prepares for the impact of Hurricane Florence, expected to make landfall this Thursday.

September 11, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In anticipation of Hurricane Florence, which is expected to make landfall on the East Coast this Thursday, North and South Carolina have declared states of emergency, including waiving hours of service. Specifically, the states both waived hours of service requirements for drivers transporting fuels and other essential supplies. The states also waived certain size and weight restrictions to help ensure the continued transportation of supplies.

North Carolina issued its declaration on September 7, and South Carolina issued its declaration on September 8. Both emergency declarations are in effect for 30 days: 

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is preparing for what may be Virginia’s most significant hurricane event in decades. The state of emergency declaration is designed to mobilize resources in preparations of the storm and to help Virginia mitigate any damage and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to aid other states vulnerable to Florence. The declaration includes an hours of service waiver, which will be in effect for up to 30 days. Other parts of the declaration, however, may be in effect until December 31, 2018, unless amended or rescinded.

On September 10, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival on the Eastern seaboard. The declaration triggers an hours of service waiver for drivers providing assistance to the affected areas. Although Delaware Gov. John Carney has not issued a state of emergency, he issued a statement noting that the Delaware Emergency Management Agency is monitoring the approach of Hurricane Florence, as well as Hurricane Isaac farther out in the Atlantic. “We are communicating and coordinating with Delaware state agencies, local partners, FEMA official and authorities in surrounding states,” he said.

States of emergency are still in effect for Tropical Storm Gordon: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration—including an hours of service waiver—in response to the storm. The declaration is in effect in until October 4, in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

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.
September is National Preparedness Month, and NACS has many resources to assist retailers in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery. NACS has partnered with the American Red Cross to advance community giving and disaster relief programs for NACS member companies. Visit convenience.org/redcross to learn about other ways to help. The Red Cross also has information on disaster preparedness and how to donate to relief efforts.
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