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US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael - As of 4 p.m. October 10, 2018

US Department of Transportation Resources for Hurricane Michael
Storm Response Highlights Report
As of 4 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. The hotline number is 1-833-STORM18 (786-7618). This is for use by First Responders and those delivering Critical Response.  

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.   

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.

  • 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 forecasted impact area
     
  • FAA has issued nine special emergency air routes in affected areas.
     
  • FAA has published three Airspace Coordination Areas, which cover the FL Panhandle, southern AL, and southern GA
     
  • Airport status:
    • Pensacola International is closed
    • Eglin AFB/Destin-Fort Walton Beach is closed
    • Northwest Florida Beaches International is closed to air carriers without prior permission
    • Tallahassee International is closed except for military and emergency operations
  • Closed - ATC Facilities:
    • Valdosta Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)
    • Destin Executive ATCT
    • Pensacola International ATCT
    • Pensacola Terminal Radar Approach Control
    • Tallahassee International ATCT
    • Whiting Field ATCT

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

  • The FHWA Florida Division Office is located in Tallahassee and is closed to the public on Wednesday, October 10, and Thursday, October 11. FHWA-FL has tested alternate communications capabilities and reviewed continuity plans. Regular accountability checks are being performed with employees.
     
  • FHWA Florida Division employees are supporting FDOT personnel with emergency response activities.
     
  • FDOT reports the following road and bridge closures due to storm conditions:
    • 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.
    • Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Ross county
  • FDOT has suspended all construction activities in the anticipated area of impact.
  • 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

  • FHWA Georgia Division staff is providing support to the GDOT Emergency Operations Center on October 10, 2018.
  • GDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) is monitoring traffic conditions statewide.
  • With major inland impacts expected in southern and coastal Georgia, GDOT has deployed Special Response Teams including 400 responders in southwest Georgia and 400 responders in coastal Georgia.
  • Based on the expected path of the storm, impacts are also expected in central Georgia, where GDOT has deployed 175 responders in east central and 175 responders in west central Georgia.
  • GDOT has deployed eight Bridge Inspection Teams in areas expected to be most impacted by Michael.
  • In anticipation of gale-force winds, GDOT will close the Sidney Lanier Bridge on US 17/SR 25 in Glynn County at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10, and will close the Talmadge Bridge located in Chatham County at 9 p.m. The bridges are being closed for the safety of the traveling public. As the storm continues to move east/northeast, teams will monitor the need for other bridge closures in coastal Georgia.
     
  • GDOT is actively engaged in the removal of trees and overgrown brush along state rights-of-way in an effort to mitigate the possibility of falling trees across roadways, a particular danger during hurricanes and tropical storms
     
  • 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).
     
  • GDOT reports all rest areas on I-75 and welcome centers on I-185 and I-85 in west-central Georgia are open 24 hours throughout the duration of the storm event.
     
  • 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.

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.
     
  • 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 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 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.

Class I Railroads and Amtrak

  • Norfolk Southern Railway and CSX have suspended service across the Florida panhandle and into Georgia. For CSX, this primarily affects service from Pensacola, FL to Savannah, GA. For NS, this primarily affects service running west from Jacksonville, FL to Macon, GA and Augusta, GA, and all traffic scheduled east of Pensacola, FL.
  • Both railroads are moving equipment, cars and locomotives to higher ground where necessary, and staging or pre-positioning ballast trains, generators, track equipment, and personnel in key locations of Florida, Georgia, and southern Alabama.
  • Amtrak has modified service in Florida and the southeast U.S., their “A” and “S” lines.   Service alerts are being posted on their website, which states the information currently available will be updated no later than 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.
  • Silver Star Trains 91 & 92 (New York – Miami) will operate only between Miami and Jacksonville, FL through at least Oct. 11.  No substitute transportation will be provided between Jacksonville, FL and New York. 
  • Palmetto Trains 89 & 90 (New York – Savannah, GA) will only operate between New York and Washington, D.C. through at least Oct. 11.  No substitute transportation will be provided between Washington, D.C. and Savannah.
  • Class II and Class III short line carriers have either suspended service across the Florida panhandle and into Georgia, or shut down until weather conditions permit restoration, recovery and repair.

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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