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US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael - As of 12 p.m. October 12, 2018

US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael
Storm Response Highlights Report
As of 12 p.m. October 12, 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 has established 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 is operated 24/7.  The hotline number is 1-833-STORM18 (786-7618). This is for use by First Responders and those delivering Critical Response. 

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

The Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATSCC) and responsible Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) have implemented additional route structures to balance air traffic volume and throughput and move flights away from severe, convective weather.

  • Air Traffic Organization (ATO) established Field Incident Response Incident Command Centers in Atlanta, GA and Jacksonville, FL on October 9.
     
  • ATO deployed three mobile Field Incident Command teams who will conduct assessment and restoration of Air Navigation Systems equipment and facilities after the storm passes
     
  • There are 14 National Airspace System (NAS) facilities, two non-NAS facilities and 627 Air Navigation Service systems in the impact area
     
  • FAA has issued nine special emergency air routes in affected areas, which include the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama and Georgia.
     
  • FAA has published three Airspace Coordination Areas, which cover the FL Panhandle, southern AL, and southern GA
  • FAA is coordinating with 36 drone operators to issue post-storm waivers for recovery and assessment operations.
     
  • Civilian Airport status: All civilian airports are open.

The FAA has issued seven total drone waivers; however, only five are active as follows:

  • Higher Power Solutions – Albany, GA; Surface to 150’ until 7 pm to survey damage.
  • U.S. Coast Guard – Destin, FL; Surface to 200’ until sunset for damage assessment.
  • Southern Co. – Dothan, AL: Surface to 400’ until 2 p.m. for damage assessment.
  • CNN – Destin, and Jacksonville, FL; Surface to 200’ until 7 p.m. for newsgathering.

The FAA has two active Temporary Flight Restrictions as follows:

  • Tyndall AFB, FL; Surface to 5000 feet until October 17.
  • Panama City, FL; 200 to 3,000 feet until October 17.

Federal Highway Administration

  • FHWA Leadership in the Florida, Georgia, and Alabama Division Offices have briefed their State CEO counterparts on the procedures for requesting Federal funds via the FHWA Emergency Relief program and for requesting state resources via the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
  • FHWA created state-specific web pages for the agency’s Florida and Georgia Division Offices focused on Hurricane Michael, intended to provide the public and State DOT partners with an overview of the process to request Emergency Relief funds.

Florida

  • FDOT reports the following road and bridge closures due to storm conditions:
    • All Eastbound lanes of I-10 are closed from US-331/MM 85 to the Apalachicola River/MM160
    • All Westbound lanes of I-10 are closed from the Apalachicola River to SR-77/MM 120
    • US-98 - multiple locations in Franklin County; FDOT reports washouts between Carrabelle and Eastpoint, Florida
    • U.S. 98 (S.R. 30-A) from West Rutherford Street to Cape San Blas Road in Gulf County
    • S.R. 30-E (Cape San Blas Road) in Gulf County
    • S.R. 363 from St. Marks City Hall to the St. Marks River in Wakulla County
  • The FHWA Florida Division Office is located in Tallahassee and is closed to the public on Thursday, October 11. All FHWA-FL employees are accounted for. Nearly all FHWA-FL employees have lost power; one employee has suffered property damage.
     
  • FHWA Florida Division employees are supporting FDOT personnel with emergency response activities.
     
  • FDOT has deployed crews from around the state to assess the damage and safety of critical infrastructure, and to clear access to affected areas as soon as possible.
     
  • FDOT has authorized all vehicles involved in response to bypass weigh stations.
  • Tolls in northwest Florida were suspended on the following roads and bridges on Monday, October 8, 2018:
    • Mid-Bay Bridge and Spence Parkway (Okaloosa County)
    • Garcon Point Bridge (Santa Rosa County)
    • Bob Sikes Toll Bridge (Escambia County)
    • Orchard Pond Parkway (Leon County)

Georgia

  • Due to anticipated windspeed, on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 6:00pm ET, GDOT closed the Sidney Lanier Bridge on US-17/SR-25 in Glynn County (Brunswick, GA). On Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:00pm ET, GDOT closed the Talmadge Bridge located in Chatham County (Savannah, GA). The Lanier Bridge and the Talmadge Bridge have been inspected and are now reopened.
  • GDOT inspections have been ongoing throughout the day, October 11, 2018.
  • GDOT deployed Special Response Teams including 400 responders in southwest Georgia and 400 responders in coastal Georgia.
  • GDOT deployed 175 responders in east central and 175 responders in west central Georgia.
  • GDOT deployed eight Bridge Inspection Teams in areas expected to be most impacted by Michael.
     
  • GDOT has suspended all construction work that negatively affects travel on the interstates and evacuation routes within the impacted areas until 7 p.m. Friday, October 12, 2018. This includes GDOT District 3 (west central Georgia), GDOT District 4 (southwest Georgia) and GDOT District 5 (southeast Georgia).

Alabama

  • ALDOT reports closures on the following National Highway System routes:
    • SR-52 inside the Ross Clark Circle between MP 61 and MP 63, approximately, south of US 84/Main Street (Dothan, AL)
    • SR-53 is blocked from MP 9 to Florida State Line (Dothan, AL)

North Carolina

  • 4 closures to the National Highway System in North Carolina due to flooding – these roads are expected to reopen sometime during the afternoon on Thursday, October 11:
    • NC-225/Greenville Highway in Hendersonville, NC at US-176
    • US-176 in Saluda, NC at SR-1179
    • US-25/Asheville Highway in Hendersonville, NC
    • US-64 at Chattooga Ridge Trail in Cashiers, NC

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

  • Norfolk Southern Railway
  • Preliminary storm recovery inspections indicate trees down, power outages and crossing gate replacements on the Mobile District (Mobile to Selma), Southwest District (Albany to Fort Valley to Macon), Columbus District (Fort Valley to Columbus), GS&F (Macon to Brunswick), Brunswick District (Macon to Brunswick), Savannah District (Macon to Gordon to Tennille to Millen to Savannah) and Augusta District (Millen to Augusta).  No major structure or washouts found but inspections continue.
     
  • Operations across the panhandle of Florida remain temporarily suspended, primarily affecting service running west from Jacksonville, FL, Macon, GA and Augusta, GA, and all traffic scheduled east of Pensacola, FL.  Customers in affected areas should expect 24 to 48 hours delay. 

CSX

  • CSX Operations across the panhandle of Florida and into Georgia remain largely suspended, primarily affecting service from Pensacola, FL to Savannah, GA.
  • Damage assessments are underway

Amtrak

  • Per the Service alert last updated at 3:15 p.m. on October 11,  posted online, service  to Florida  is being modified as follows: 
    • The Piedmont (Charlotte – Raleigh, NC) 77 & 78 are cancelled for today. No substitute transportation will be provided.
    • The Silver Star (New York – Miami) 91 & 92 will continue to operate from Miami to Jacksonville, FL, today and Friday. No substitute transportation will be provided between Jacksonville, FL to New York.
    • The Palmetto (New York to Savannah, GA) 89 & 90 will operate between New York and Washington, D.C., today. No substitute transportation will be provided between Washington, D.C., to Savannah, GA.

Class II Regional and Class III short lines

  • Some carriers have either suspended service across the Florida panhandle and into Georgia, or shut down until weather conditions permit restoration, recovery and repair.
  •  Several small carriers in GA, NC and SC are suspending operations due to deteriorating weather conditions.

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 60 transit agencies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are currently closed, seven are providing limited service and one are providing emergency services only.
     
  • FTA has posted a status report for impacted transit agencies on its website and is updating the report as new information becomes available.
     
  • In North Carolina, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) Blue Line rail service has been suspended since yesterday morning due to a tree falling on both tracks 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.
     
  • FTA’s Acting Administrator has reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Transit Director and to 14 GM’s of potentially impacted transit agencies in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Maritime Administration

Waterways surveys and checks to aids to navigation have commenced

Port status:

  • The following ports are closed:
    • Wilmington, NC
    • Morehead City, NC
    • Cedar Key, FL
    • Panama City, FL
    • Pensacola, FL
    • Gulf Intercoastal Waterway miles 166-390
       
  • The following ports are open with restrictions:
    • Savannah, GA
    • Brunswick, GA
    • Beaufort, SC
    • Charleston, SC
    • Georgetown, SC
       
  • The following ports have returned to normal operations:
    • Mobile, AL
    • Pascagoula, MS
    • Gulfport, MS      

National Highway Traffic Safety Administratoin

  • 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. https://www.nhtsa.gov/hurricane-damaged-vehicles-0
  • 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. https://www.nhtsa.gov/hurricane-damaged-vehicles-0

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

  • PHMSA issued Emergency Waiver Orders for persons conducting operations under the direction of EPA and USCG for hazardous materials recovery and cleanup in Florida and Georgia.
  • 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 has activated their hurricane preparedness plan and establishing an incident command center to monitor potential impacts from Hurricane Michael.
  • Colonial Pipeline is reporting that stub line 17 from Macon to Bainbridge GA is currently not active due to a loss of commercial power. Colonial will be connecting a generator to their Bainbridge GA pipeline facility later today, October 12.
  • 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 American Petroleum Institute (API) highlighted the need for expedient reentry to PHMSA regulated facilities as well as the ability to utilize Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) following Hurricane Michael’s landfall for response and recovery efforts.
  • PHMSA issued a stay of enforcement and letters to the impacted states regarding waivers for pipeline enforcement during the storm and will be placing those on PHMSA’s hurricane website today.  This is for GA, FL, AL, NC, and SC.
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