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Florence’s devastation caused more than 600 active road closures; these are a few safe routes identified by NCDOT

While Florence’s landfall on North Carolina took place nearly a week ago, it’s ferocious wrath can still be felt in many of our communities, who’s residents are still dealing with the effects of its devastation.

North Carolina Department of Transportation officials, encourage motorists to avoid traveling as many counties are still dealing with flooded roads, including some areas caving in due to water damage.

“Several roadways in the affected areas are still under water, presenting very dangerous driving conditions,” said Colonel Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “While some routes are starting to open, motorists should avoid travel in flooded areas unless absolutely necessary and should never drive on flooded roads.”

It is important to note that due to changing conditions, roads that where safe at one time may not be anymore. For the next few days, water levels are expected to rise as rivers crest so it is important to follow up on road conditions before venturing out. Some roads will remain closed until the damage can be assessed to ensure bridges are safe.

“About 750 roads remain closed (down from 2,200), including sections of I-40 and I-95. US 258 in Kinston,” said NCDOT officials in a news release. “Drivers should plan for US 70 to be closed as the Neuse continues to rise. US 421 at the New Hanover Co line is now closed.”

US 421 collapsed near Pender and New Hanover counties. Major traffic delays are expected for motorists as road conditions continue to deteriorate. According to NCDOT officials, most of the severely-affected areas have extremely limited access, which makes it imperative for motorists to keep those roads clear of stalled traffic in order not to hinder recovery efforts.

“We’re working hard to get essentials such as food, water and fuel to the hardest-hit parts of our state,” said Mike Sprayberry, director of the N.C. Division of Emergency Management. “Residents and visitors can help us by staying away from the areas most impacted by the hurricane while these relief efforts are in full swing.”

Sections of Interstate 40 remain flooded with multiple closures.

As of Sunday, Sept. 23, Gov. Cooper announced that I-95 through NC has reopened.

According to the NCDOT website, the following routes are believed to be the least likely to flood:

From Raleigh to Kinston
◦I-440 to US 64 East
◦Take Exit 436 to US 264 East
◦US 264 East to NC 11 South in Greenville
◦Continue on NC 11 South to Kinston

From Raleigh to New Bern
◦I-440 to US 64 East
◦Take Exit 436 to US 264 East
◦US 264 East through Greenville to Washington
◦In Washington, take US 264 East to US 17 South
◦US 17 South to New Bern

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

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

From Raleigh to Jacksonville
I-440 to US 64 East
Exit 436 to US 264 East
US 264 East thru Greenville to Washington
In Washington, take US 264 east to US 17 south
US 17 south to New Bern
In New Bern, take US 17 south to US 70 east
US 70 east through Havelock to Morehead City
In Morehead City take US 70 east to NC 24 west
NC 24 west through Swansboro to Jacksonville

For the most up to date information about accessible roads, please visit
ncdot.gov.

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