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US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael - As of 2 p.m. October 10, 2018

Storm Response Highlights Report
As of 2 p.m. October 10, 2018

Contact: Marianne McInerney Marianne.McInerney@dot.gov 

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

  • Michael's direct impacts on the National Airspace System (NAS) are currently focused on the Gulf of Mexico routes.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Reported flight cancellations related to Michael as of 1100 EDT 10 October:

By Airport (Arrival/Departure):

Northwest Florida Beaches International (ECP) Airport: 9/8 Pensacola International (PNS) Airport: 2/0 Eglin Air Force Base/Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) Airport: 3/0
Totals: 14/8

By Airline:  Major Carriers:  American Airlines (AAL)/0; Delta Airlines (DAL)/0; Southwest Airlines (SWA)/3; United Airlines (UAL)/0; Jet Blue (JBU)/0; Alaska Airline (ASA)/0.  Total:  3

Sub-Carriers:  Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASQ)/3; Envoy Air (ENY)/1; Mesa Airlines (ASH)/0; PSA Airlines (JIA)/1; Republic Airlines (RPA)/0; SkyWest Airlines (SKW)/0; Endeavor Air (EDV)/0/; Commute Air (UCA)/0; Piedmont Airlines (PDT)/0.  Total:  5

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 is monitoring State DOT preparedness activities throughout the Southeast, including temporary suspension of construction projects and the staging of supplemental highway service patrol vehicles.
     
  • The Evacuation Liaison Team, consisting of FHWA Resource Center personnel, activated to the FEMA Region 4 Response Coordination Center on Monday, October 8, 2018. The Team helps coordinate State DOT evacuation activities in the anticipated area of impact.

Florida

  • The FHWA Florida Division Office is located in Tallahassee, which is in the forecast path of the storm. Preparedness activities have concluded. Offices will be performing accountability checks through the duration of the storm. The Tallahassee office with be closed today, October 10.
     
  • FHWA Florida Division employees are supporting FDOT personnel at the Florida State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).
     
  • FDOT has suspended interstate and highway maintenance and construction indefinitely to allow for an increase in traffic as motorists evacuate from the northwest Florida coastline area. Presently, no bridges are closed due to the storm and bridge inspection crews are on standby for any potential inspections.
     
  • FDOT will assist first responders with traffic control, detours or road closures, but the department will suspend emergency response activities if Hurricane Michael's sustained winds reach tropical storm force of 45 mph or higher. Once conditions improve, crews will go back to working around the clock to clear all roadways.
     
  • FDOT is reviewing forecast storm surge maps in an attempt to predict where recovery efforts will need to be focused. FDOT’s main concern is US-98 along the gulf coast
     
  • 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 (as of 8:30am, October 10)

  • GDOT’s Special Response Teams (SRT’s) have been deployed from the northern parts of the state and are currently in route to central, south and coastal Georgia.
     
    • Major inland impacts are expected in southern and coastal Georgia. As a result, GDOT’s Special Response Teams include:
    • 400 responders in District 4 (southwest Georgia)
    • 400 responders in District 5 (coastal Georgia)
       
  • Based on the expected path of the storm, impacts are also expected in central Georgia, where GDOT will deploy approximately:
    • 175 responders in District 2 (east central Georgia)
    • 175 responders in District 3 (west central Georgia)
       
  • GDOT is responsible for thousands of lane miles of road in Georgia:
    • District 4: 8,363 lane miles
    • District 5: 6,882 lane miles
    • District 3: 3,600 lane miles
    • District 2: 7,730 lane miles
    • Total potential lane miles in Georgia impacted by Hurricane Michael: 26,575 lane miles
       
  • GDOT is deploying eight Bridge Inspection Teams in areas expected to be most impacted by Michael as it passes through Georgia. As the storm continues to move east/northeast, teams will be monitoring the need for bridge closures in coastal Georgia.
     
  • As Hurricane Michael continues to intensify prior to making landfall, GDOT is relocating crews previously slated to deploy to the Georgia/Florida state line back to safer locations. Once the worst of the storm has passed, Special Response Teams will reenter the southernmost parts of the state to assess and respond to damage.
     
  • Major concerns for motorists are the potential for falling trees, flooding, and downed power lines.
     
  • GDOT will begin clearing impacted roadways once the worst of the storm passes, and will clear priority routes first to ensure the public maintains access to hospitals, trauma centers and other public facilities. 
     
  • GDOT has suspended all construction activities in Southwest Georgia and all construction on I-95 and I-16 along the coast. The suspensions will remain in place until 7PM on Friday, October 12, 2018.

Alabama

  • ALDOT reports that traffic volumes on WB I-10 exceeded capacity limits during the day on October 9. In accordance with previously announced plans, commercial motor vehicles traveling WB on I-10 were rerouted to I-65 via the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge.
     
  • Planned construction activities on I-10 and I-65 have been suspended to facilitate evacuation traffic.
     
  • Across southeast Alabama, major routes such as U.S. Highways 231, 331 and 431 and Alabama Highway 167 have seen high traffic volumes. Along U.S. Highway 231 from Dothan to Troy, traffic signals have been adjusted to give as much priority time as possible to northbound evacuation traffic.
     
  • Due to congestion at the Wallace Tunnel, evacuees traveling westbound on Interstate 10 are encouraged to use Alabama Highway 59 at exit 44 in Loxley to reach Interstate 65 as an alternate route. Locals are encouraged to utilize local roads instead of National and State routes to ease in the evacuation congestion. 
     
  • ALDOT is prepared with personnel and resources mobilized to address damage and monitor conditions that develop in parts of Alabama that may be impacted by the storm. 
     
  • Roadway towing services will be on standby in key locations on I-10 in Alabama through the end of the week.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

  • The FMCSA has made the Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemptions and Permits site available for motor carriers and drivers to access up to date information on hurricane-related issues.
     
  • This declaration, posted on the FMCSA website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media platforms, and has been sent to all of the Agency’s trucking and passenger carrier trade press outlets, including to all SiriusXM radio, Road Dog Trucking programs. It provides emergency relief for the transport of supplies, equipment, fuel, and people.  The declaration is in effect for 30 days and covers the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Federal Railroad Administration

  • An Emergency Declaration opening the Emergency Relief Waiver Docket has been approved by FRA Administrator. It is posted to FRA’s website and is being shared with the carriers who are in the projected path of the storm.
     
  • FRA Regional management teams in affected areas have established communication lines with carriers for designated reporting.
     
  • All carriers in the projected path are initiating contingency plans for protective measures to mitigate the risk of damage to equipment and facilities and are assembling materials and crews for post-storm repairs.

Federal Transit Administration

  • Status of Georgia Transit Agencies as of the morning of 10/10:
    • 28 agencies closed
    • 8 limited service
    • 4 open (1 closing evening of 10/10 - reopening of 10/11)           
    • 6 of the above-closed agencies are estimated to reopen on 10/12
       
  • Transit agencies are in the process of securing assets and facilities. Agencies that are fully closed have already secured all property.
     
  • Most of the transit in the impacted area consists of bus and paratransit service. As the storm moves into parts of Georgia, it is possible that some rail service may experience impacts (heavy rail in Atlanta (MARTA); streetcar in Atlanta (MARTA); streetcar in Savannah (CAT).
     
  • FTA’s Region 4 staff have disseminated preliminary guidance to potentially impacted transit agencies in Georgia. This information included:
  • A link to FTA’s emergency response page
  • Information about how agencies can request temporary relief from FTA administrative and statutory requirements. No waiver requests have been submitted at this time.
  • Waiver of FTA’s Charter Bus Service Regulations, which typically restrict transit agencies from operating chartered service. Associated requirements under this rule are waived for all impacted transit agencies during an emergency to help facilitate evacuations. 
  • A link to FTA’s Emergency Relief docket
  • A request for updates on the number of planned or proposed evacuations, the status of regular service, and any damage to assets
     
  • FTA Acting Administrator Williams has already reached out to impacted transit agencies in Florida. She is scheduled to call potentially impacted transit agencies in Georgia on October 10 to offer assistance.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

  • PHMSA is issuing 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.
     
  • We do not have any waivers on the hazmat side right now (because FEMA must issue a Stafford Act declaration on a state by state basis first to trigger), but we anticipate that in the very near future.
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