By Heather Overton, NCDA&CS PIO
On September 7, 2017, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler released the following statement regarding Governor Roy Cooper’s issuance of Executive Orders 20 and 21 in preparation for Hurricane Irma:
“Hurricane Irma is a formidable storm that could result in severe economic loss of livestock, poultry and crops in our state. At my recommendation and as allowed by state law, the Governor has directed the Department of Public Safety to temporarily suspend weighing vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry, feed and crops in the state.
“This Executive Order will allow our farmers the opportunity to harvest as much of their crops as possible before the storm hits. The order also will help ensure that livestock, poultry, crops and feed can be moved as necessary. The order also temporarily suspends the maximum hours of service for drivers.
“In addition to the waiving of motor vehicle regulations, our department is temporarily suspending health certificate requirements on livestock traveling through the state from areas in Hurricane Irma’s path.
“I urge everyone to prepare for this storm. Check your generators, fuel and emergency kits. We don’t know what impact this storm will have yet on our state. But we do know that preparation saves lives and protects property.”
The NC Department of Public Safety is online at www.ncdps.gov.
On September 6, 2017, NC Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency for all 100 counties as the state prepares for potential impacts from Hurricane Irma in the coming week. Gov. Cooper said:
“There is a lot we still don’t know about this storm, but we do know that North Carolina can expect to feel some sort of effects as soon as early next week, and now is the time to get prepared. Wherever you live in North Carolina – from the mountains to the piedmont to the coast – you need to take this storm seriously, and you need to start preparing for some type of impact.”
The State of Emergency went into effect Thursday, September 7 at 8am. To facilitate the movement of any resources that may be needed to respond to the storm, the State of Emergency also waived truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions so that vehicles carrying essential supplies such as food, medicine, fuel or transporting livestock or crops can be done quickly.
Meteorologists are predicting that portions of NC could experience wind and rain from the tropical system as early as Monday, September 11.
State transportation officials also have placed crews on standby, been preparing their equipment and checking culverts to remove debris that may clog drainage pipes.
Ed. Note: Emphasis added.