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Truckers report on storm; AP gives state-by-state look

In Maryland, several city intersections are closed because of flooding threats.

The Trucker Staff

10/29/2012

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, truckers are sending weather reports and plans. We will add updates as we get them.

One professional driver told The Trucker he “was out in it and my company told me to head home. Pennsylvania restricted commercial vehicles from being on the road at 10 a.m. today Delaware is completely shut down — you can't get in or out — and New Jersey is expected to close all the roads soon.

 

John White at Chattanooga, Tenn.-based U.S. Xpress issued this statement related to Hurricane Sandy: "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.”

Here's an Associated Press snapshot of what is happening or expected, state by state.

CAROLINAS

The storm lashed barrier islands off North Carolina and rendered several homes and businesses nearly inaccessible. About 90 miles off the coast, a tall ship carrying 17 people was in distress; the Coast Guard was monitoring.

CONNECTICUT

The number of power outages increased quickly in a state where utilities' response to past weather-related failures has become a political issue. Connecticut Light & Power says hundreds of customers are without power. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked a task force to ensure fuel suppliers are fully stocked. Many residents along Long Island Sound heeded warnings and evacuated.

DELAWARE

Hundreds of people fled to shelters as rough surf pounded the coast. Water covered some roads.

KENTUCKY

Snow is expected in mountainous areas.

MAINE

Officials predict coastal flooding and beach erosion, and utility crews have been brought in from Canada to handle anticipated power failures.

MARYLAND

Baltimore is opening six shelters; several city intersections are closed because of flooding threats. Early voting, which began Saturday and was to run through Thursday, was canceled for Monday.

MASSACHUSETTS

Utilities brought in crews from as far away as Texas and the Midwest to cope with anticipated power failures. Most schools and colleges have canceled classes. The Boston transit authority said it would continue to operate as long it was safe.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Gov. John Lynch put 100 National Guard soldiers on active duty to help with preparations. Two shelters are being set up, and some schools have closed.

NEW JERSEY

Sandy's center is expected to make landfall in New Jersey late Monday. By daybreak, thousands of homes and businesses were without electricity. Thousands of people evacuated low-lying areas, and many inland towns hit by flooding from storm Irene last year issued evacuation orders.

NEW YORK

Many residents left low-lying flood evacuation zones, and the subway system shut down Sunday night. A storm surge of 11 feet is possible, the highest of all coastal areas being hit by Sandy. The New York Stock Exchange and other U.S. financial markets shut down for at least the day. Thousands of flights were canceled at the city's major airports.

At mid-morning, the New York State Motor Truck Association posted that empty trailers had been prohibited from crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge and that the speed limit on the bridge had been lowered to 35 mph. The association said that if winds reached 60 mph, the bridge would be closed.

OHIO

Residents of low-lying areas and along Lake Erie were told to watch for flooding; utilities are anticipating high winds that could blow down trees and poles. Snow is forecast in some areas.

PENNSYLVANIA

Many schools closed. Philadelphia shut down its mass transit system, and hundreds of flights were canceled at the city's airport. Dozens of people took shelter at evacuation centers. Thousands of members of the National Guard have been told to be ready for deployment.

RHODE ISLAND

Several communities have ordered mandatory evacuations and many schools closed for the day. Big waves are expected to cause flooding along Narragansett Bay, which bisects the state. Authorities told people to be prepared for long periods without power.

TENNESSEE

Snow is expected in higher elevations, where a freeze warning has been issued. High winds are expected in many areas.

VIRGINIA

About 2,000 customers lacked power, and a utility said as many as 1 million could ultimately lose electricity. Many residents of Chincoteague Island, popular with tourists, shrugged off the idea of evacuation.

VERMONT

Gov. Peter Shumlin declared a state of emergency to provide access to National Guard troops in a state still recovering from the devastating effects of the remnants of Hurricane Irene. Culverts and storm drainage basins in some spots have been cleared of debris.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The capital area's transit system shut down rail service for the first time since 2003, and the Smithsonian Institution closed for the day.

WEST VIRGINIA

As much as 2 to 3 feet of snow was forecast in mountainous areas, and flooding was possible in some areas. Several shelters were put on standby, and power crews were mobilized to handle potential failures.