West Coast Suffers Drought; Rest, Floods
The United States is suffering from a water distribution problem this summer: while the west coast cannot get enough water, the east coast is experiencing torrential downpour. As of the start of September seven states are undergoing States of Emergencies regarding water, be it a dearth or an abundance.
Alaska is the largest state in the nation. It has been having rampaging wildfire issues since the start of August. To help mitigate the disaster, the state has put aside $1 million from the Disaster Relief Fund to spend. Some of this money may find itself in the hands of truckers contracted by Alaska to haul firefighting equipment.
Likewise with Alaska, California has been on fire since around the start of August. Not only are trucking businesses being contracted by the state to deliver needed equipment and supplies, but trucking businesses directly impacted by the fire are having title and registration fees suspended.
Suffering from flooding, Kentucky is in an interesting spot. While its Declaration regarding the flood has expired, it is still listed on the FMCSA list of ongoing States of Emergencies. Could this mean that the Declaration will be extended?
Montana is the furthest state westward that is suffering from flooding, and is the reason why our article has such a confusing title! The state is suspending hours-of-service for truckers delivering flood relief. Like most declarations listed here, there is currently no set expiration date.
To combat wildfires, Oregon is suspending numerous state regulations to help get truckers on the road as soon as possible. These include:
- Permits for commercial operations.
- Oregon’s weight-mile tax program.
- Registration requirements.
Specifically not excluded from relief are regulations regarding driving without a proper license or while intoxicated.
Likewise with Kentucky, the State of Emergency has officially expired but is still listed on the FMCSA webpage of ongoing disasters. As such, it is expected that the Declaration will be extended soon.
Of all seven states, West Virginia’s Declaration is the most vague, saying that Governor James Justice is invoking emergency powers. This includes providing “essential emergency services”, likely including the delivery of necessary flood-relief equipment such as emergency blankets for those displaced from their homes due to the floods.
With some states in desperate need of water and others suffering from too much of it, it may be time for states (or the federal government) to work on developing a pipe system that sends water westward. While there is no doubt that such a program would be a massive undertaking, it would likely pay dividends as it saves Kentucky from mudslides and restores California’s agriculture economy. If the various government needs pipes delivered for such a cause, they can no doubt count on truckers to bring them via flatbeds!
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