Transportation Disasters: Talking Extreme Weather

Transportation departments of all shapes and sizes are becoming more seasoned at responding to unexpected incidents and activities. A road buckles, a hill side rolls away, or perhaps the snow storm of the century hits again — for the third time in three years.

These are increasingly common situations for transportation organizations, which is why AASHTO recently sponsored the first National Symposium on the Impacts of Extreme Weather Events on Transportation. It was an innovative two-day meeting that allowed a variety of practitioners — from planners and engineers to emergency managers and communications staffers — to share and discuss various issues related to extreme weather.

Here are my notes from a session on innovative communication practices states are using during extreme weather events.


Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has done a fantastic job of wrapping up the recovery after a major rock slide closed its State Route 25. The folks at TDOT reopened the road early, which is an amazing accomplishment. But even better, the communication team offers a behind the scenes look at the work involved in getting the road back open. Major kudos to Tennessee DOT Communications!

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