In January, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency regarding widespread winter storms. Anyone living in the most populous state in the nation right now would agree that the downpour, after a short break, has continued. As such, another State of Emergency has been declared in the Golden State.
You can read about the Declaration in its entirety on the relevant webpage. This time around, the Declaration is limited to the following counties:
- Los Angeles
- San Bernardino
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Barbara
While the State of Emergency contains much of the same regulatory suspensions as the previous one regarding California winter storms, it is a deviation from the norm that a trucker might see in other Declarations. There is no suspension regarding hours-of-service, oversized hauling, or overweight hauling.
Instead, the State of California is easing the regulations involving business contracts to secure goods related to recovery and response from the storms. This means that a private fleet wanting to get their foot in the door in working with the state is more likely to land a contract than before, when it comes to truckload deliveries of emergency goods such as heating oil or blankets. In some cases, truckers with flatbed hauling may be able to work with the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program to deliver construction goods for any infrastructure that may have been damaged as a result of the extreme winds and constant rain.
California is the only state in the nation where you can have both a drought and a flood at the same time. Like having the air conditioner fight the heater in a big rig, it will be interesting to see which side wins. Considering the past few years of exceptional dryness, we are rooting for the flood. Interestingly enough, the counties for which the Declaration applies tend to be the same counties that are suffering the most from drought.
In any case, Los Angeles County alone has almost 10,000,000 people, so there is no doubt an extreme demand for relief supplies as a result of the winter storms. There might be some money to be made for your fleet!
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