Missouri’s departments of transportation and public safety are helping truckers expedite shipments of equipment and relief supplies to tornado victims in Joplin as rescue workers and survivors cope with more storms and power outages.
The state is waiving truck driver hours of service requirements for carriers participating in the Joplin relief efforts, and expediting oversize-overweight permits. Permits will be issued at no charge and requests will be taken around the clock.
The hours of service suspension applies to truckers hauling supplies to Joplin and returning empty to their terminals, the state said. Out-of-state carriers that don’t have authority to operate in Missouri can request registration and fuel permits (see below).
The death toll following Sunday’s devastating tornado rose to at least 117 Tuesday morning as southwestern Missouri braced for more severe storms. The tornado tore a path four miles long and half a mile wide through the city of 50,000.
The tornado injured more than 500 people and destroyed more than 2,000 buildings, about one-third of Joplin. The damages may run as high as $1 billion to $3 billion, according to Eqecat, a company that estimates the cost of disasters.
Major highways around Joplin are open, speeding relief toward the city, but many streets in the devastated area are impassible, blocked by debris, power lines or restricted by police as rescue workers continue to search for trapped survivors.
To request registration and fuel permits, call (800) 877-8499 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. For emergency permits only, call (573) 291-4853 or (573) 291-4517 after those hours.