Hurricane Ian made a right turn overnight, surprising some that thought the storm was moving due north. Now, truckers in Jacksonville are prepping for a long week of rainfall and potential flooding.
Time to get to higher ground
Ian will likely make landfall further south than anticipated, with the strengthening storm aiming for the Port Charlotte area north of Fort Myers. The path of the storm is projected by most models to head northeast across Florida, over Orlando, and beyond to Jacksonville.
Drivers in the anticipated path need to get their trucks to safer ground as torrential rain will cause low-level flooding. High winds will also be a problem as even stationary trucks and trailers can be blown over.
What to do while we wait out the storm
Drivers looking for freight to haul should make for Atlanta; a large number of relief loads will originate from there. There will be plenty of work to do in the coming days, and recovery and repair materials will be at the top of the list for brokers.
Port Tampa and SeaPort Manatee will be closed for a few days. That means supplies of metals, fertilizer, salt, and other bulk goods will have to be brought in from other parts of the country to manufacturers.
The produce, citrus, and berry industries will also be closed down. Drivers that haul refrigerated freight need to be watching the ports closely as major brands like Dole and Chiquita will want to move the goods on their ships as fast as possible to avoid spoilage.
Make sure to check the fuel you buy after the storm
Also heading north means better fuel availability. It will be in short supply as power outages and panic buying will drain retail tanks dry. When heading back into a storm-torn area, make sure to buy fuel from stations that have tested the tanks for water infiltration and other debris.
Buying a couple of extra fuel filters and stopping and checking the fuel/water separator every few hours after fueling is crucial to avoid an injector failure. Breaking down in a disaster area is not what you want to happen.