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US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael

US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael
Storm Response Highlights Report
As of 12 p.m. October 15, 2018

U.S. DOT Updates by Operating Administration:

The Department’s Crisis Management Center (CMC) monitors on-going weather impacting Americans 24/7 and is fully staffed and activated until further notice.

USDOT had a Routing Assistance Hotline to support the movement of Federal, State and local response personnel, equipment and goods during the Michael response efforts.  The line was operated 24/7. 

USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics created an interactive web mapping application to provide real-time situational awareness of the storm path and its impact on user-selected transportation infrastructure.  The application is public facing and can be shared with others.   The direct link is here. Mapping functions include basic map navigation (zoom in/out and pan), location search, print (pdf, gif, png, jpg, etc.), bookmarks, base map selection, drawing, measurement, swipe and the ability to add external data. 

Federal Aviation Administration

  • ATO deployed three mobile Field Incident Command teams to assess and restore Air Navigation Systems equipment and facilities.
  • The FAA’s response and recovery efforts have returned the National Airspace System (NAS) to pre-storm status. All airports and FAA Air Traffic control facilities are operational and we have restored air navigation services.
  • The Air Route Surveillance Radar (long-range radar), which the FAA maintains at Tyndall Air Force Base, is out-of-service. We are coordinating overlapping coverage for high altitude flights. Restoration could take months.
  • All Temporary Flight Restrictions and Airspace Coordination Areas are cancelled except for TFRs for the POTUS visit to the affected areas today.

Federal Highway Administration


  • US-98, which parallels the coastline and experienced numerous washouts, remains closed. There is no estimated time for reopening.
  • FHWA Florida Division Office is closed to the public on Monday, October 15, due to ongoing power outages in Tallahassee.
  • FDOT damage assessments are ongoing in the affected area.


All National Highway System (NHS) routes are OPEN – all state or local roads have been reopened.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

  • FMCSA issued a Regional Emergency Declaration for Hurricane Michael effective through November 9
  • FMCSA extended the Regional Declaration issued for Hurricane Florence until November 10. The declaration includes the states of VA, NC, and SC
  • FL, GA, NC, AL, and VA have issued emergency declarations

Federal Railroad Administration

  • The FRA Administrator declared Hurricane Michael an emergency event and activated  the Emergency Relief  Docket (ERD), allowing affected railroads to directly upload petition waivers seeking temporary relief from specific regulations.  Establishment of the ERD also sets aside notification requirements normally required for waivers so that FRA can expeditiously respond to requests. The Emergency Declaration is posted on FRA’s website and has been shared with railroads in the projected path of the storm,
  • FRA Regional management teams are communicating regularly with all rail carriers in areas affected by the storm.
  • Railroads’ assessment and response crews have begun efforts to restore train operations in storm-impacted areas – as safe conditions allow. Significant concerns include wind damage causing downed trees and restricting pathways, as well as heavy rainfall in the Carolinas potentially causing renewed flooding in areas dealing with lingering effects of Hurricane Florence, such as elevated river levels.

Class I Railroads


  • Significant progress has been made on the remaining two subdivisions across the Florida panhandle with suspended operations.  They continue to make progress but are dealing with 1000’s of downed trees and numerous locations where downed power lines are fouling tracks.  Affected subdivisions are:
    • P&A (Cottondale, FL to Pensacola, FL)
    • Tallahassee (Baldwin, FL to Chattahoochee, FL)
  • Full service restoration is projected to occur by the evening of Tuesday 10/16

Norfolk Southern Railway

  • All subdivisions are operational, and they have reduced the number of generators being used to power highway-rail grade crossing warning devices as progress is being made in power restoration.

Regional and Short Lines

  • Three remaining short lines with suspended operations.  Revised projections anticipate at least partial restoration for all three carriers to be completed by the end of the week.
    • Bay Line Railroad in Panama City, FL
    • Apalachicola Northern Railroad in Port St. Joe, FL
    • Conrad Yelvington Industries from Panama City to Dothan AL

Federal Transit Administration

  • FTA’s Region 4 Office in Atlanta, Ga., has returned to normal operations. Employees and facilities were not impacted by the storm. All other FTA offices remain open.
  • Approximately 42 transit agencies in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are currently open, 24 remain closed, nine are providing limited service, nine are providing emergency services only, and 18 have provided evacuation support.
  • For specific states, the current status of operations for impacted transit agencies is as follows:
  • Florida: 6 transit agencies are open; 1 transit agency is closed; 1 transit agency is operating limited service; 7 transit agencies provided emergency services; 12 transit agencies provided evacuation support service.
  • Georgia: 27 transit agencies are open; 23 transit agencies are closed; 8 transit agencies provided limited service; 1 transit agency provided evacuation support service
  • North Carolina: 6 transit agencies are open; 5 transit agencies provided evacuation support service.
  • South Carolina: 3 transit agencies are open; 2 transit agencies provided emergency services.
  • FTA has posted a status report for impacted transit agencies on its website and is updating the report as new information becomes available.
  • Per the Georgia Department of Transportation, some transit agencies in Southwest Georgia remain closed due to safety reasons to include debris blocked roadways. Power outages are impacting both dispatching and the availability of gas.
  • In North Carolina, the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is continuing to provide modified service due to a fallen tree on the Blue Line and the overhead catenary collector system (OCS) lines being down. CATS is providing alternative bus service while they make repairs and estimates Blue Line rail service will resume by Tuesday, 10/16.

Maritime Administration

Waterways surveys and checks to aids to navigation have commenced

  • Panama City port is restricted to daylight hours only
  • Gulf Intercoastal Waterway east of mile marker 293 is closed: pending waterways surveys and checks to navigation aids

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • This year’s hurricane season has produced devastating floodwaters on the East Coast, and for many, the task of rebuilding has just begun. If a new car is in your plans, get information to protect yourself from buying a flood-damaged vehicle.
  • Nearly a million vehicles have been damaged or destroyed by the storms so far, and unfortunately, some of these vehicles end up back on the market.  If a new car is in your plans, get information to protect yourself from buying a flood-damaged vehicle.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

  • PHMSA remains in contact with interstate regulated operators in the affected area and state pipeline safety partners in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
  • Colonial Pipeline notified PHMSA that they have a generator in place on Bainbridge, GA and it is ready to utilize. Colonial’s stub line 17 is capable of shipping through to Bainbridge, GA contingent on shippers being able to receive product at delivery points. At this time, there is no impediment to the operation of Colonial Line 17; Colonial is ready to transport product once shippers are able to receive at delivery points. Colonial’s mainlines (1,2,3, and 4) are operating without any impediments.
  • The Chipley and Chattahoochee Florida local gas distribution systems have been reported to be out-of-service. PHMSA’s state partner, the Florida Public Service Commission is investigating.
  • The city of Chipley has restored service to the city’s north side water well pump as well as the Northwest Florida Community Hospital, and is working on initiating gas flow to several other critical points. The city of Chattahoochee continues to provide natural gas service to the Florida State Hospital, further assessment and restorations will take place once access is restored.
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