Hurricane Sandy hits Brampton truck deliveries

Handout satellite image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

Concerns about Hurricane Sandy, dubbed ‘Frankenstorm,’ have spooked some Brampton truck drivers from traveling to the United States for deliveries.

Olympian Group Systems Inc. manager Raman Brar said many of his drivers are refusing to cross the border due to strong fears about the storm currently hitting the east coast of the United States.

“They feel it’s better for them to wait at home instead of being on the highway,” he said. “It’s better for them to wait instead of being stuck at the truck stop.”

Truck dispatcher Alicia Brefreitas said a lot of drivers at the Brampton head office of Avaal Technology Solutions are cancelling their loads across the border. “They don’t want to go into the States,” said the 26-year-old from the company’s Brampton head office on Automatic Rd.

Brefreitas also noted that business today was much slower than usual.

Olympia Group Systems’ head office is located on Tufton Crescent. The company employs 19 truck drivers for service in Ontario, western Canada and the United States.

Brar said drivers already on the road south of the border have also been affected by the storm.

“We’ve stopped drivers in the U.S.,” he said. “Two in Wisconsin, one in Texas.”

“Everybody’s scared,” he said.

Despite the potentially costly delay, Brar said his customers have been understanding of the situation. “We don’t have to deliver tomorrow, we can deliver the day after,” he said. “Our customers are nice.”

Today the City of Mississauga issued a statement about how it was closely monitoring the storm in case of emergencies due to expectations of high levels of rain and wind speeds up to 100 kilometres an hour.

City officials also cautioned residents to stay away from all waterways during this storm and issued a list of safety tips.

Hurricane Sandy has also significantly affected business at Pearson International Airport, with the cancellation of more than 300 flights and airlines telling fliers to expect more cancellations in the next few days.

Cancellations affected flights today to and from New York, Washington, Newark, Philadephia, Boston, Baltimore, Hartford, Charlotte and Providence, hitting about 20 per cent of Pearson’s total traffic.

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