NCDOT assessing Florence impacts, beginning recovery

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation has started to assess some Hurricane Florence-affected roads, as well as railway, aviation, ferry and DMV assets, areas in the southeastern part of the state remain under water, including sections of Interstates 40 and 95.

Roadways

As of about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, about 800 sections of road were closed, with about 750 of those in the eastern half of the state. Most of the closures are due to flooding or road damage, while others are blocked by debris downed when Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach on Friday, Sept. 14.

In some areas, water has receded and NCDOT crews have been able to inspect roads and bridges to determine whether they are safe to open, or will need repairs and must remain closed. However, in many communities there is still a wait for water to drain away. And other roads may become flooded as rivers, such as the Neuse, reach flood stage later in the week. Because the status of many roads can change on short notice, the department continues to urge people to not drive into impacted areas of the state for their own safety.

NCDOT has deployed more than 100 of its employees from areas of North Carolina where the damage from Hurricane Florence was not as severe into the state’s hardest hit communities. Road crews in the northeastern part of North Carolina loaded up backhoes and dump trucks to help fix roads in the New Bern area. Teams from Raleigh were dispatched from the southern Triangle counties to the South Carolina border and the Wilmington area. And crews from the mountains made the trek to the coast to help their colleagues repair roads and replace culvert pipes destroyed by Florence. Additional personnel and equipment will be deployed as flood waters recede and needs are determined.

A number of main thoroughfares in southeastern North Carolina remain flooded or blocked by downed debris such as trees and power lines.

A number of main roads in the northern coastal region are also impacted, including:

Cumberland County – I-95, U.S. 13, U.S. 301, N.C. 24, N.C. 59, N.C. 87, N.C. 210 and N.C. 690

Robeson County – I-74, I-95, U.S. 74, U.S. 301, U.S. 501, N.C. 41, N.C. 71, N.C. 72, N.C. 83, N.C.130, N.C. 211 and N.C. 904 are closed in sections.

Scotland County – U.S. 401 is impassable in multiple locations throughout the county; U.S. 401 Business in Laurinburg is closed; U.S. 501 is closed due to high water in three locations near the Robeson County line, as well as at the Hoke/Scotland County line due to partial roadway washout at Drowning Creek (headwaters of Lumber River); and U.S. 74 Business is closed in east Laurinburg due to flooding near the approach to a bridge.

Rail services

NC by Train passenger service on the Carolinian, and Piedmont have resumed full service between Raleigh and Charlotte.

Amtrak passenger train service traveling in and through North Carolina will resume service on Thursday more than a week after service had been interrupted due to Hurricane Florence and track improvements.

Public transportation services

The NCDOT Public Transportation Division, in coordination with Federal Transportation Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been awarded $300,000 for post evacuation services.

Units are also continuing to evacuate affected areas, with transit systems assisting counties in need, including evacuating affected residents to shelters throughout the state and loaning several buses to the National Guard for emergency response activation.

DMV services

Most N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles driver license and license plate agency offices in central and eastern North Carolina remained closed on Wednesday due to flooding and power outages following Hurricane Florence.

Some NCDMV offices could be closed for several days, depending on the conditions in areas most affected by Florence.

NCDMV’s main call center, located in Bladen County, reopened Wednesday with limited staff. Customers may experience longer wait times when calling the Customer Service Center.

Once regular services resume, drivers who have appointments at the affected driver license offices will be contacted to reschedule their appointments.

For information

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.

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