Natural disasters can have a significant impact on supply chains, causing problems for carriers, manufacturers and purchasers. When storms, earthquakes or fires prevent the circulation of goods, the repercussions can be far-reaching.
Carriers trying to get through Colorado in recent days have discovered to what extent natural disasters can delay their routes and prevent them from making pickups and deliveries on schedule. Downpours in the northern and eastern part of the state have made it impossible for fleets to travel on the roads recommended by their routing software, which can have consequences for drivers making time sensitive deliveries.
Disaster halts transportation
The state is already working to clear these important roads and ensure individual drivers, as well as those hauling products across the country or region, are able to pass through them soon. Several critical highways have remained closed since the flooding began, which has forced transportation companies to think up alternative plans to move goods to their final destinations.
While the current floods have an immediate impact on travel throughout the state, the repercussions of the disaster could continue for months. Roads and bridges have been destroyed, and some may stay shut down for a period until the state can repair them.
According to The Denver Post, the state will be forced to use its $100 million road contingency fund to fix the infrastructural damage the flooding has caused. The source revealed that preliminary damage costs have been estimated at $40 million for roads and $112 million for bridges. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) aims to provide more concrete expense estimates in the coming days.
According to Fox News, there are more than 400 lane-miles of state highway in the northern half of the state that have been damaged and 30 bridges destroyed.
Major routes are the first slated to be repaired, with the Post reporting U.S. 34 and 36 and Colorado 72 and 119 at the top of the list for scheduled fixes. This means carriers that travel through the area hopefully won't see too many delays or impassable roads in the months ahead. But companies completing local deliveries on less-traveled roads may not be as fortunate. If their route optimization software instructs these drivers to take less-popular roads, they may notice delays, closures and detours for several months.