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Update as of 8 a.m. ET Wednesday
Hurricane Idalia briefly intensified into a dangerous Category 4 storm early Wednesday morning before making landfall as a high-end Category 3 on Florida’s west coast.
The eyewall made landfall in the Big Bend area near Cedar Key and, as of 8 a.m. ET, the eye was located just inland from the coast.
In an alert Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center warned that storm surge of 12-16 feet could be expected between Wakulla/Jefferson County line and Yankeetown, Florida. Cedar Key was experiencing nearly 6 feet of inundation Wednesday morning.
8/29 2:00 pm ET:
Hurricane Idalia is still moving northward into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico where it is expected to intensify rapidly this afternoon and evening.
Winds remain sustained at 90 miles per hour and the storm is still moving northward at 15 mph.
As of the National Hurricane Center’s 2:00 pm ET update, the center of the storm was located approximately 230 miles SSW of Tampa, Florida.
All watches and warnings across Florida remain in place, including evacuation orders for residents in Tampa and St. Petersburg. The government of Cuba has let all hurricane warnings expire for its country.
The next NHC complete advisory will be issued at 5:00 pm ET.
Idalia strengthened into a hurricane overnight as it moved into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. As of Tuesday morning, winds have increased to 90 miles per hour and the hurricane continues to move northward at a speed of 14 mph.
In an update early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said the storm will bring life-threatening storm surge, with some areas expecting 8-12 feet of water.
Snapshot of the Present Freight Market
Post by Freight Caviar: Adriana Pulley
As the freight market displays initial indications of enhancement, it encounters an additional obstacle: the upcoming advent of Hurricane Idalia. With forecasts predicting the storm’s impact on the United States, experts within the freight sector are preparing for a potential upswing in market rates.
Although there’s a minor upward trend in contract rates, spot market rates have sustained their stability. The impending storm has the potential to trigger a notable surge in spot rates.
Hurricane Idalia’s Projections
According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Idalia is forecasted to intensify into a Category 2 hurricane as it moves toward Florida’s west coast. The effects of such a hurricane could be far-reaching, not just environmentally but economically as well.
Freight Market Implications
Historically, hurricanes have impacted the freight market in several ways:
Emergency Supplies Movement: Hurricanes necessitate transportation of emergency supplies, driving demand up.
Infrastructure Damage: Damage to roads, ports, and bridges limits transportation routes, concentrating demand in operational areas.
Post-Storm Rebuilding: The recovery phase post-hurricane increases demand for the transportation of construction materials.
Historical Data Insight
For context, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 disrupted nearly 10% of the trucking industry in the U.S. for two weeks and caused spot rates to jump by over 20% in the aftermath. Additionally, with damages totaling around $125 billion, the required rebuilding materials and supplies led to sustained heightened rates in the affected regions.
Hurricane Idalia’s potential impact on the freight spot market serves as a reminder of the interdependence of environmental events and industry dynamics. As Florida prepares for the storm, the freight industry, too, must strategically plan for the challenges and demands ahead.
A valuable resource is the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN); please visit the ALAN website for Activation Updates, Stories involving the storm, and information on how to help.
Because this has the potential to be an especially destructive storm, we encourage you to visit ALAN’s Supply Chain Intelligence Center (https://www.alanaid.org/map) and our Disaster Micro-Site (https://www.alanaid.org/operations/) frequently. The first contains a wide variety of resources to keep you in the loop about everything from Hurricane Idalia’s latest path to how local and regional transportation infrastructure is being impacted. The second is where we will share details about some of ALAN’s key activities and how you and other members of the logistics community can help. We will be updating both resources frequently as events unfold.
Some valuable links provided by ALAN.
Perdue FDOT Emergency Road Use Permit (for use with FHP)
Just in case you hadn’t already seen it, Florida will be having their ESF-18 Private Sector call at 2 PM Eastern Daily.
Phone number: 888-585-9008 Participant Code: 753 329 128