Hurricane Idalia Hits Florida as a Category 3 Hurricane

Florida has declared a state of emergency and issued fuel waivers in preparation for the storm.

August 30, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis issued Florida Executive Order 23-171 on Saturday, August 26, declaring a state of emergency in the state until October 25. This executive order allows the staging of resources in preparation for the storm, as well as recovery time after the storm has passed.

Some of the 49 counties in Florida now under a state of emergency are Pinellas, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Osceola and DeSoto.

Other states declaring a state of emergency due to the hurricane include Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

As of this morning, August 30, Hurricane Idalia has made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Due to the storm, the state’s SNAP agency released benefits on August 29, ahead of the normal schedule, and alerted Florida retailers of the early issuance so all are aware.

According to Executive Order 23-171, the Florida Department of Transportation may waive tolls and other fees for use of the turnpike and suspend enforcement of the registration requirements for commercial motor vehicles that enter Florida to provide emergency supplies or services or to transport emergency equipment, supplies or personnel. Additionally, the DOT may waive the size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies or agricultural commodities.

Pursuant to Executive Order 23-171, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles declared an Emergency Order 082823 on August 28. This order ratifies actions taken before the emergency order was declared, takes effect immediately and expires on September 28, or on the expiration or rescission of the Emergency Order or Executive Order 23-171 or 23-172, whichever is first.

On August 30, the Environmental Protection Agency granted Florida a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver due to extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances caused by Hurricane Idalia, as reported by Oil Express. The waiver allows for the sale of 11.5 pound per square inch (psi) RVP gasoline through September 15.

Meanwhile, in El Paso County, Texas, the EPA has issued an emergency waiver to address a fuel supply shortage caused by unplanned outages at the Big Spring Refinery and Marathon’s El Paso Refineries. The temporary waiver allows regulated parties to produce, sell and distribute gasoline in the county with a RVP of no more than 9.0 psi, or 10.0 psi for gasoline containing between 9 and 15 percent ethanol. Normally, gasoline must have an RVP of 7.0 psi in El Paso County.

Check out NACS’ resources for disaster and emergency preparedness to protect your store and customers.