FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration for Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Ian at Fort Myers Beach, Fla,
Hurricane Ian arrives at Fort Myers Beach, Fla., on Sept. 28. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg News)

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The devastation wrought in Florida by Hurricane Ian prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue an emergency declaration for commercial vehicles directly assisting in transporting goods and disaster relief services in seven Southeastern states.

The Regional Emergency Declaration issued Sept. 28  was issued due to Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Florida as well as current and anticipated threats to people and property due to heavy rains, high surf, flooding and strong winds.

Commercial motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance during the emergency in the seven states are granted temporary relief from Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Section 395.3 for maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles.

States of Emergency

States covered by the Regional Emergency Declaration:

• Florida

• Alabama

•  Georgia

• Kentucky

• Mississippi

• North Carolina

• South Carolina

The emergency declaration applies to commercial motor vehicle operations involved in providing direct assistance for emergency relief in transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into the seven states.

The declaration stipulates that when a commercial driver is transitioning from relief services to normal business operations transporting property, a 10-hour break is required when the total time equals or exceeds 14 hours that a driver is engaged in emergency relief or combined emergency/normal work.

Direct emergency assistance ends when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide nonemergency services, or when a motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin business operations.

Terms of the declaration are not applicable for federal hazardous material safety regulations or drivers/motor carriers subject to an out-of-service order until it is rescinded in writing by the issuing jurisdiction.

Florida Trucking Association has updates regarding Hurricane Ian at

FTA has posted an Alabama Department of Transportation Notice issued Sept. 27 effective immediately through Oct. 24 that enables emergency response vehicles, bucket trucks, supply trucks and utility vehicles to bypass weigh station facilities when responding to Hurricane Ian-related activity. Alabama Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order for all counties that takes effect from Sept. 29 to Oct. 28.

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