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Governor’s Emergency Declaration Eases Trucking Restrictions

Governor’s Emergency Declaration Eases Trucking Restrictions

Debris caught in a fence of a Jackson County ranch during a flash flood in April.

Debris caught in a fence of a Jackson County ranch during a flash flood in April. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

Panhandle farmers and ranchers are battling back against the onslaught of this week’s punishing weather system. Storms have delivered record setting rains measured in feet, not inches, to many counties.

Much of the damage to agricultural operations occurred from Jackson County to Escambia County. Row crop farmers were already experiencing planting delays because of low temperatures and wet fields.

Cotton and peanut planting has been minimal the last few weeks because of wet weather and low temperatures. After this most recent excessive and washing rain, many of those acres will be replanted or lay fallow this season.

Cattlemen are closely monitoring pastures and hay fields with standing water. The potential for foot disease is another worry as some animals are standing in flooded areas for prolong periods of time.

Bottom lands adjacent to rivers will continue to experience flooding in the coming weeks. Rain soaked lands in Alabama and Georgia will drain into rivers and creeks headed south.

Governor Rick Scott has issued EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 14-144 declaring an emergency in 26 north Florida Counties as a result of the heavy rains.

Part of that order mandates lifting the weight, height, and length restrictions for trucks hauling emergency equipment, supplies, and fallen timber into and out of areas affected by severe weather and flash flooding in north Florida.

This waiver is currently in effect until May 30, 2014. Trucks may haul up to 95,000 pounds of storm-related fallen timber, debris and other qualified materials.




Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director. He began his work in the Northwest Extension District as the Sustainable Agriculture and Extension Technology Agent in Leon County on August 25, 2006. His career in agriculture extends back over thirty five years and includes work in business, government and academic positions. Prior to working with the Extension Service, he spent 16 years with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the Division of Marketing and Development. He worked in four of the division’s six bureaus. He has also managed farm supply cooperatives in Alabama and Virginia with annual sales over four million dollars, worked for an international grain company, and was a research associate for Auburn University’s Agricultural Economics Department. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. He is the author of over 500 publications and has written professionally for print, electronic and broadcast media.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/05/03/governors-emergency-declaration-eases-trucking-restrictions/