Commercial Vehicle Traffic on a Standstill in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy
Commercial vehicle traffic virtually became shut down due to the strengthening Hurricane Sandy lashing cities along the Northeast corridor with incessant rain and powerful wind gusts.
Sean McNally, vice president of communications and press secretary for the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said: "We are encouraging carriers to cease operations in the northeast corridor where the storm is expected to make a major impact. No delivery is worth the risk." It is also not worth the risk in terms of risking damage to any truck, let alone other drivers or the truck driver.
Carriers appear to be following the advice of the law enforcement agencies as well as the ATA. As per the information released by the authorities in the northeast, the Tappan Zee Bridge was shut down to all traffic by late afternoon on Monday. The Department of Transportation in Pennsylvania began restricting travel of commercial vehicles on all roadways east of Interstate 81 starting around Monday at noon.
Too Much Water
The Department of Transportation in Connecticut imposed a ban on truck traffic on all state highways, which was eventually extended to all vehicles. The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel have also been closed since Monday afternoon. Much of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey was closed due to flooding.
A Knockout Blow
A spokesman for Chattanooga, Tennessee based U.S. Xpress issued a statement with regard to Hurricane Sandy that said: "We have spent the last few days preparing by moving equipment from harm's way from Maryland through New England and this mainly entails getting our trailing equipment that could be in flood-prone areas to higher ground. Freight flows continue to move and of course we are responding with emergency relief loads both for the government and for our customers. I estimate we have at least 200-plus loads moving currently with water, generators, and other relief merchandise. These loads are being moved from the Southeast and Midwest either to staging areas or direct to customer DC locations for redeployment after the effects of the storm are known."
The President Speaks
President Obama made a direct appeal to those who are caught in harm's way: "Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Don't delay, don't pause, don't question the instructions that are being given, because this is a powerful storm." Some people wonder if the President really enjoyed it when he said do not disobey the instructions given by government officials because most people know how the President loves government and believes the government has a solution for everything and every problem of society can be handled by a bureaucrat.
Emergencies have been declared in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, which authorizes federal relief work to start well ahead of time.