The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) has issued a regional emergency declaration in anticipation of the potentially catastrophic effects of Hurricane Ian.

The FMCSA issued the emergency declaration on Wednesday, September 28, “in response to Hurricane Ian and the current and anticipated effects on people and property, including immediate threat to human life or public welfare from heavy rains, high surf, flooding, and strong winds.”

The eight states included in the regional emergency declaration are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The emergency declaration provides relief from requirements for maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles and maximum driving time for passenger-carrying vehicles.

The regulatory relief applies to commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts by transporting supplies, goods, equipment, and fuel into the Affected States, and transporting persons into and from the Affected States, or by providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the emergency related to Hurricane Ian in the Affected States.

The FMCSA notes that “direct assistance” means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential supplies or essential services.  Direct assistance does not include transportation related to long-term rehabilitation of damaged physical infrastructure or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration, after the initial threat to life and property has passed.

The emergency declaration goes into effect immediately and will remain in effect until the end of the emergency or until 11:59 p.m. (ET), October 28, 2022, whichever is earlier.

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