North Carolina Governor Suspends HOS, Weight Rules Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence
NASA via Associated Press

Rules pertaining to weight restrictions and hours of service have been relaxed for certain truckers in North Carolina as the state braces for Hurricane Florence.

Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order and declared a state of emergency Sept. 7. The executive order suspends size and weight restrictions and HOS rules for drivers restoring utilities, removing debris and hauling food, medicine, fuel, livestock feed, poultry and crops.

“The uninterrupted supply of electricity, fuel oil, diesel oil, gasoline, kerosene, propane, liquid petroleum gas, food, water, livestock and poultry feed and medical supplies to residential and commercial establishments is essential before, during and after the storm and any interruption in the delivery of those commodities threatens the public welfare,” the executive order states.

According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, the executive order will help farmers harvest and move crops and livestock before the hurricane hits. Agriculture is an important aspect of North Carolina’s industry. Apples, beets, carrots and figs are among the produce farmers harvest this time of year.

In preparation for Florence reaching the coast this week, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is preparing bulldozers, chainsaws and other rescue equipment, according to the press release. North Carolina Emergency Management teams are working with county agencies and federal partners to procure resources ahead of the storm.

“The prompt restoration of utility services is essential to the safety and well-being of the state’s residents,” the executive order states.

The National Weather Service reports that Florence is supposed to make contact with the Carolinas on Sept. 13. As of Sept. 10, the storm’s maximum sustained wind speed reached 130 mph, making it a Category 4 hurricane.

“The State Emergency Response Team, which includes Emergency Management, the State Highway Patrol and the N.C. National Guard, is closely monitoring the storm and stands ready to deploy,” Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks said in the press release. “Our highly trained and experienced team has already been evaluating its resources and preparing to assist the public as needed.”