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'The Volunteer State is ready to help': Gov. Lee signs order to speed up hurricane relief efforts to Florida

Gov. Lee signed an order temporarily suspending some transportation restrictions on interstates and highways for relief crews moving through Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tenn — Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order on Thursday to assist hurricane relief crews traveling to Florida.

Lee suspended some transportation regulations for volunteers and crews traveling through Tennessee in hopes of speeding up relief efforts to hard-hit portions of Southwest Florida.

"The Volunteer State is ready to help Florida recover and rebuild," Lee said. 

The order suspends maximum weight, length and width limitations for vehicles that are traveling through Tennessee on the interstate or state-maintained highways and roads. Vehicles that qualify must be transporting emergency supplies, equipment or mobile housing units to areas impacted by Hurricane Ian.

How to help communities impacted by Hurrican Ian in Florida

The full details of the order are available at this link. It is set to expire at the end of October 28. 

Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction across Florida this week, trapping people in flooded homes, cutting off the only bridge to a barrier island, destroying a historic waterfront pier and knocking out power to 2.5 million people as it dumped rain over a huge area on Thursday. 

Authorities confirmed at least one storm death in Florida — a 72-year-old man in Deltona who fell into a canal while using a hose to drain his pool in the heavy rain, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. Another person died in Cuba after Ian struck there. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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