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041119 flooding in the Midwest.jpg Photo: Wikimedia

Emergency flooding in the Plains, Midwest gets aid from truckers

Hours of service regulations have been put on hold for the affected states until the emergency conditions have ended.

The original flooding emergency declared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in March that provided temporary relief from hours of service regulations has been extended into June 3, or until the end of the emergency, whichever comes first. The emergency conditions of the affected states in the Plains and the Midwest have not let up, claiming multiple lives, causing power outages and completely wiping out Midwest farms.

FMCSA “acknowledges the current and anticipated damage from severe flooding in the affected states…[and] considers the interests of public safety and the immediate need to alleviate the effects of the flooding.”

A trucking company in Mitchell, SD has been helping the relief effort. Mick and Mike O’Connor of O’Connor and Son Trucking Inc. have been hauling over 100,000 pounds of large rocks to Nebraska to minimize flood damage to sections of roads, homes, businesses and grain bins.

“When we were asked to help bring truckloads of rock down south, it didn’t even cross my mind to say no,” said Mick, co-owner of O’Connor and Son Trucking Inc. with his son, Mike. “Our loads of rock have been primarily helping save roads, dams and neighborhoods.”

According to the Grand Forks Herald, after the O’Connors agreed to haul truckloads of rock to the neighboring state, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts waived the weight limit for the local trucking company to legally travel on the state’s roads. The governor’s waiver is effective until April 15, and the O’Connors plan to haul a couple more loads of rocks, weather permitting.

States included in the declaration are Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

In addition, the FMCSA said that it will not be enforcing the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee for truckers who are providing direct assistance to disaster victims.

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