Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Declares State of Emergency to Facilitate Eclipse Preparedness and Readiness
Public officials in Oregon have been considering the “worst case scenario” when it comes to Monday’s solar eclipse. Things that could go wrong are hours-long delays on main freeways and highways; major wildfires; fuel or food shortages, fights or civil unrest and even a possible diseases outbreak.
In response to the 1 million visitors to Oregon for the eclipse, which essentially increases Oregon’s population by 25 percent, Gov. Kate Brown has issued an official State of Emergency.
Governor Brown issued an emergency declaration which will formalize statewide planning and collaboration efforts, which are being led by the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. Governor Brown activated the Oregon National Guard to deploy additional resources, personnel, and equipment.
Some 150 Oregon Air and Army National Guard members and five Army National Guard aircraft will be deployed across the state the weekend prior to and on the day of the solar eclipse.
Read the full Declaration of Emergency here.
As a result of this declaration, ODOT has also issued a suspension of motor carrier regulations that fall under Executive Order 17 – 14. This is done to expedite the movement of goods to provide relief to the public.
ODOT has declared the suspension of the following motor carrier laws related to vehicles providing essential supplies during the time period identified in the Executive Order, so until August 24, 2017.
(1) ORS 825.100, certificate or permit requirement for commercial transportation of persons of property
(2) ORS 825.104, permit requirement for for-hire or private carrier engaged in interstate operations.
(3) ORS 825.252, drivers’ hours of service requirements
(4) ORS 825.450, weight receipts issued by Department of Transportation for motor vehicles subject to weight-mile tax.
(5) ORS 825.470, temporary pass for single trip or short-time operation of vehicle.
(6) ORS 825.474, assessment of tax for use of highways.
(7) ORS 826.031, registration of certain vehicles not already registered with the state.
Nothing contained in this declaration shall be constructed as an exemption from the controlled substance and alcohol use and testing requirements (49 CFR Part 382), nor the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383).
Additionally, motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order or who have an unsatisfactory safety rating are not eligible for the exemption until the order expired or they have met the conditions for its rescission.
Again, here are some suggestions and information about the eclipse that ODOT has prepared for motor carriers:
- There is only one restriction on trucking in place because of the eclipse. Over-width loads will NOT be allowed to operate anywhere in Oregon from noon Friday, Aug. 18, to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. Other over-dimensional loads with permits, including triples, will still be allowed.
- ODOT will not close any state highways around the eclipse, but cities and counties may close some roads or prohibit left turns at some intersections to help traffic flow.
- Nearly all ODOT construction projects and non-emergency maintenance work will be shut down during the eclipse. Lane closures, detours and work zones will remain in place.
- Emergency closures for crashes and emergency responders may cause delays in addition to heavy traffic.
- Eclipse events are scheduled in many public parking areas such as fairgrounds. ODOT anticipates limited parking for commercial vehicles.
- ODOT Motor Carrier staff will be working on the day of the eclipse.
- Motor carriers are encouraged to reschedule deliveries as far as possible before or after Aug. 21.
Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado are placing restrictions on oversize/overweight loads in the days around the eclipse.
The Oregon Department of Transportation has stated no over-width loads will be allowed to operate in the state between noon on Friday, Aug. 18 and 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22. Other over-dimensional loads with permits, including triples, will still be allowed. ODOT also says some scale locations may not be available for use by truckers during the event.
The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles is also restricting large loads, implementing a “holiday protocol. Starting Sunday, Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. and ending at dawn Aug. 22, loads exceeding 10-feet wide, 100-feet long or 14-feet, 6-inches tall may not travel on interstate or state highways south of Lewiston.
In Wyoming, the Wyoming Highway Patrol will not issue any oversize/overweight permits on Aug. 20-22 to help with traffic flow.
The Nebraska DOT is not allowing oversize loads to travel in the state from sundown on Friday, Aug. 18 until sunrise on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Colorado transportation officials are also restricting all oversize/overweight travel north of Highway 50 from Kansas to Utah, beginning at sundown on Thursday, Aug. 17, and continuing through sunrise on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
More information on preparing for the eclipse: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/Eclipse.aspx