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Trucking Companies Already Shifting Efforts Toward Storm Relief


Virginia Hurricane Tide Sandy 2012
Tides are swelling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy in Virginia. Click on the image to view full size. – – Photo courtesy of Matt Thompson

It’s being called one of the most unprecedented weather events in the history of the country, rivaling hazards like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Andrew, and even the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922 for problems with logistics, safety and supply. Dispatchers are already stranding truck drivers who had expected return loads from the eastern seaboard late this weekend, and it doesn’t look like it will be ending anytime soon.

Trucking companies are already beginning to move relief supplies toward the region threatened by Hurricane Sandy as the massive storm approaches the East Coast.

“I estimate we have at least 200-plus loads moving currently with water, generators and other relief merchandise,” said John White, president of U.S. Xpress.

The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based truckload carrier began moving tractor-trailers out of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic a few days ago, White said in a statement.

“This mainly entails getting our trailing equipment that could be in flood prone areas to higher ground,” White said Monday. “Freight flows continue to move.”

Jarvis Restoration Hauling of Detroit have trucks that are being packed with drying equipment and even bottled water for those impacted by the storm. Their large flatbed haulers are even moving 60 large electrical generators to help ease the expected power outages. Just one of these large generators can power big box retail space, churches, storm shelters, and even a logistics hub.

Owner Matt Jarvis says his team will position themselves about two hours away from impacted areas in New Jersey. They will be monitoring communications from the New Jersey Highway Department to determine their time to move, or retreat, or if they actually will need to abandon their loads and move quickly to a state storm shelter.

The National Hurricane Center’s Friday morning projection put Sandy on a track to make landfall anywhere from Virginia to New England late Monday, with a wide “cone” of possibilities from the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia beaches up to the New Jersey shore.

The slow-moving storm is then projected to move inland into Pennsylvania, with potential flooding and power outages reaching as far as West Virginia and Ohio, news and weather reports said.

States are already preparing for Sandy’s impact, news services reported.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Friday in advance of the storm, while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed agencies to monitor the storm and Massachusetts’ Emergency Management Agency warned residents to expect the worst.

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