Raleigh - Tropical Storm Hermine left behind flooded roads, downed trees and power lines in southeastern North Carolina before continuing northeast toward the Atlantic Ocean. Due to hazardous road conditions left in Hermine's wake, the Department of Transportation and local officials urge residents to use extra caution if they have to travel.
Among the numerous road closures this morning are: N.C. 133 (River Road) northeast of Boiling Spring Lakes in Brunswick County; N.C. 53/Burgaw Highway at Harris Creek Road near Jacksonville; U.S. 701 near Whiteville; and N.C. 904 east of Fair Bluff in Columbus County. Numerous secondary roads in Pender and Bladen Counties have been reported closed or waterlogged. A list of affected roads can be found in the Travel and Maps section of NCDOT.gov
With water on the roadways, as well as downed trees and power lines, drivers are reminded to avoid unnecessary travel until later today. And if you must go out, use extra care and take precautions:
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 navigate 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.
Residents and visitors can to download the ReadyNC app for real-time weather and traffic information. Road condition updates are also available in the Travel section of NCDOT.gov or by following NCDOT on Twitter, where the storm can be followed at #HermineNC.