Raleigh - Roadways throughout northeastern North Carolina are experiencing flooding due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Julia, with Bertie and Chowan counties seeing the worst conditions. Numerous roads are closed due to high water or wash outs, prompting transportation officials to urge residents to stay off the roads until road conditions improve.
U.S. 17 is closed in both directions north of Windsor until at least Thursday morning, and several other primary routes have closures. Additionally, secondary roads throughout the area are closed due to high water or wash outs. State transportation crews are placing barricades and traffic cones where roads or lanes are closed. If you have to travel, do not drive through standing water, no matter what type of vehicle you drive, and do not cross barricades.
Travel information is available in the Travel section of NCDOT.gov or by following NCDOT on Twitter. Due to rapidly changing conditions, this is not a comprehensive list of affected roads.
Reminders if you must be on the roads:
Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded roadway ahead, turn around and take an alternate route to your destination. If there is no alternate route, head to higher ground and wait for the water to subside. Do not attempt to cross over a flooded road even if it seems shallow. Just one foot of water can float many vehicles, while two feet of rushing water can carry away vehicles including SUVs and pick-ups.
Know what to do if your car begins to hydroplane. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires glide across the surface of the water on the road. If your car starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas, but do not stomp on the brakes. Instead, apply the brakes in a steady, slightly firm manner, and steer in the direction of the skid. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the car slow down on its own. If you have an automatic transmission, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply the brakes. For cars that have antilock brakes, you should apply more pressure to the brakes, but avoid pumping them.
Allow more travel time, reduce your speed and drive defensively. Motorists should drive at least five to 10 miles per hour slower on wet pavement and allow at least twice the normal following distance between cars to provide ample room for stopping. Be ready for a sudden stop. And remember that the driver behind you is dealing with the same conditions so signal for turns ahead of time and brake early as you near a stop. Be patient and do not pass lines of traffic.