Hurricane Irma: The Impact


Hurricane Irma, which weakened to a Tropical Storm on Monday morning, was the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm in recorded history. This is the second Category 4 Hurricane to hit the United States this year, following Hurricane Harvey last month. So, what does that mean for the United States and the transportation industry?

The storm has blasted through the Caribbean as a Category 5 Hurricane, leaving mass destruction in its path. The storm passed through Florida, slamming the Florida Keys as a Category 4 – the same as Hurricane Harvey when it made landfall in Texas on 8/25/17. A few hours later, the storm made a second landfall as Marco Island before hitting Tampa. The impacts have been seen throughout the entire state and the South East United States.

PLS Logistics Services’ top concern is the health and welfare of our employees and customers and in supporting the community.

Hurricane Irma: Impact so far

  • Flash flood emergencies have been declared in Jacksonville, FL and Charleston, SC
  • Power lines are down causing power outages across the state of Florida, as many as 9 million Florida residents are affected
  • Airports are closed throughout the affected areas, Miami International is planning to open as early as Tuesday 9/12
  • Strong winds blew water right off bays and harbors in Tampa and Port Charlotte, storm surges are battering coastlines across Florida
  • Irma is expected to have a huge financial toll, one company estimated at least $50 billion worth of losses for the U.S.
  • A large threat of Irma is the flooding following the storm, officials are urging residents not to wander the streets / return to their homes until routes are confirmed as safe

Shippers / Carriers: What to Expect

  • Expect productivity to be hindered for minimum of 1 week following the storm
  • If your team is affected, evacuate the area and expect major delays both in and out of Florida and surrounding areas
  • Crop damage is estimated in the billions following Irma’s landfall
  • The nation has seen surge in gas and water prices due to Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Some gas stations have even been left out of fuel, prepare your fleet and route based on available fuel
  • Surge flooding can cause delays for weeks following the storm
  • States expected to be severely affected include: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina

PLS Prepares for Irma’s Aftermath

  • PLS has moved heavy equipment, ice, water, food products, plywood, and more near the affected areas in preparation for the aftermath of the storm
  • Our team of dedicated professionals is tracking the storm and potential impacts to best prepare our team and our customers
  • Most importantly, PLS is here for our shippers and carriers before, during, and after the storm.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Contact:

For disaster survivors: 800-621-3362; General contact: 202-646-2500

PLS Contact

General contact: 888-814-8486; LTL Freight Services: 877-475-7585; Human Resources: 724-814-5100


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