NCDOT warns travel in southeastern NC still dangerous

RALEIGH, N.C. – Travel remains dangerous in 17 southeastern North Carolina counties, where hundreds of roads remain closed and the threat of rising floodwaters continues.

The number of closures on N.C. Department of Transportation roads dropped Friday to 650 from a peak of 1,600 on Monday. Yet three major river basins – Lumber, Cape Fear and Neuse – will see floodwaters crest through this weekend and into next week.

NCDOT, the Highway Patrol and emergency officials are urging motorists not to travel in the state’s 17 worst-hit counties where many roads are still under water.

Those affected counties are: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, western Craven (west of U.S. 17), Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, southern Johnston (south of U.S. 70), Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and southern Wayne (south of U.S. 70 Business).

For their safety, drivers are advised to not travel in the area south of U.S. 70 and east of U.S. 1 unless it is critical. If you have to drive, remember:
•  Do not drive around barricades or high water signs. They are there because the road is not safe.Removing or driving around a barricade is illegal.
•  Do not drive through water on the roads; it can sweep your car away. Allow extra time for travel. With limited routes available, congestion is occurring.
•  Unnecessary traffic impedes emergency responders and the delivery of critical supplies.
•  Do not rely on your GPS. Many navigation aids may not have updated information, especially as floodwaters rise and fall.

Sections of Interstates 95 and 40 remain flooded with multiple closures. I-95 in South Carolina reopened at 4 p.m. today, allowing North Carolina to provide a shorter detour for people traveling through the state. Drivers from Virginia now will be directed to use U.S. 64 West (Exit 138) to I-440 West to I-40 West to U.S. 1 South to U.S. 15/501 in Aberdeen to U.S. 74 back to I-95 in Robeson County.

Due to ongoing flooding, a safe, stable or reliable route for the public to get to and from Wilmington is not available.

For those who must travel to other impacted areas, the following routes are the least likely to flood, but people should get the latest information on road conditions from http://www.DriveNC.gov.

From Raleigh to Kinston
o I-440 to U.S. 64 East
o Take Exit 436 to U.S. 264 East
o U.S. 264 East to N.C. 11 South in Greenville
o Continue on N.C. 11 South to Kinston

From Raleigh to New Bern
o I-440 to U.S. 64 East
o Take Exit 436 to U.S. 264 East
o U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington
o In Washington, take U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South
o U.S. 17 South to New Bern

From Raleigh to Havelock
o I-440 to U.S. 64 East
o Take Exit 436 to U.S. 264 East
o U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington
o In Washington, take U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South
o U.S. 17 South to New Bern
o In New Bern, take U.S. 17 South to U.S. 70 East
o U.S. 70 East to Havelock

From Raleigh to Morehead City
o I-440 to U.S. 64 East
o Take Exit 436 to U.S. 264 East
o U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington
o In Washington, take U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South
o U.S. 17 South to New Bern
o In New Bern, take U.S. 17 South to U.S. 70 East
o U.S. 70 East through Havelock to Morehead City

From Raleigh to Jacksonville
o I-440 to U.S. 64 East
o U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington
o U.S. 17 South to New Bern
o U.S. 70 East to Morehead City
o N.C. 24 West to Jacksonville

2-1-1 Call Line Open 24/7 for People in Need of Help
The statewide information line can provide callers with nearby shelter, housing and other storm-related details. Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162, or text Florence to 898211. The information line is staffed around the clock to connect North Carolinians to storm resources.

Donations
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. To donate, visit governor.nc.gov or text FLORENCE to 20222.

For More Information
Download the Ready NC app, visit ncdps.gov/Florence or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.