Raleigh - While Tropical Storm Hermine is now moving away from the Outer Banks, the area is still feeling its effects with minor flooding and downed trees. Area residents and visitors are urged to continue to stay off the roads because of standing water and, in some locations, sand on the roadway.
N.C. 12 between Corolla and Southern Shores has areas of deep standing water due to mid-morning high tide. Minor overwash came in at Kitty Hawk, and there is sand on parts of the highway between Kitty Hawk and Nags Head, but traffic is getting through. On Pea Island there is standing water on the road, deep in some locations. Between Buxton and Hatteras there is some sand on the roadway, with deep standing water in areas. Ocracoke Island also reports standing water of 4 to 6 inches on N.C. 12, but did not get ocean overwash.
Secondary roads throughout Dare County have some standing water, but limbs and other debris have been cleared.
The department planned in advance for the storm cleanup, putting extra equipment in place on Ocracoke Island, Buxton, Kitty Hawk and Pea Island. In addition, area construction sites, including at the Bonner Bridge project, had secured or moved equipment.
In the northeast section of the state, there are some road closures in Tyrell and Chowan counties, while Pasquotank, Camden and Currituck counties are dealing with trees and limbs falling on roads. Cleanup in those areas is being assisted by transportation crews mobilized from Gates and Washington counties. Martin, Hertford, Bertie and Northampton counties appear to have escaped any major problems.
Drivers are reminded to avoid unnecessary travel, especially in areas prone to flooding in storm conditions, and to use extra care and take precautions when 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.
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.