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Poor Road Conditions Along NC Coast in Hermine's Wake; Drivers Urged to Stay Home

Raleigh - Tropical Storm Hermine left behind flooded roads, downed trees and power lines and poor driving conditions along the North Carolina coast, N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance staff reported Saturday.

Real-time travel conditions for roads across North Carolina can be found in the Travel Information section of NCDOT.gov.

N.C. 12 between Corolla and Southern Shores had areas of deep standing water due to mid-morning high tide. Minor overwash came in at Kitty Hawk, and there was sand on parts of the highway between Kitty Hawk and Nags Head. Standing water - deep in some locations - was also reported on Pea Island. Between Buxton and Hatteras, there was some sand on the roadway, with deep standing water in areas. Ocracoke Island also reported standing water of 4 to 6 inches on N.C. 12, but it did not get ocean overwash.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol early Saturday closed all major bridges in Dare County due to high winds, and most remained closed late Saturday afternoon.

Also Saturday afternoon, most ferry operations remained suspended due to high winds. For the latest information, follow the Ferry Division on Twitter or Facebook or call (800) 293-3779.

Elsewhere along the coast, localized flooding and downed trees were reported in northeast North Carolina, especially in Camden and Currituck counties. A few road closures are reported in Chowan, Columbia and Tyrell counties because of standing water. Martin, Northampton, Hertford and Bertie counties had very little to no flooding with very few trees down.

With strong winds expected to continue through Saturday, drivers need to remain alert to possible additional trees falling on roadways.

Among the numerous road closures in the southeastern part of the state were 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.

There were also numerous reports in Pender and Bladen counties of secondary roads being closed or waterlogged.

Due to hazardous road conditions left in Hermine's wake, the N.C. Department of Transportation as well as state and local officials urge visitors and residents to stay off the roads to allow transportation and power crews and fire departments to safely work on the cleanup.

Those who must drive, especially in areas prone to flooding in storm conditions, should 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 cross over a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Just a foot of water can float many vehicles, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away vehicles including SUVs and pickup trucks.
      • 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 anti-lock 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 5 to 10 mph 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.

      Secondary road closure on Sept. 3, 2016, in Richlands in Onslow County.

      ***NCDOT***

      4/16/2018 4:30 PM

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