Governor Urges Citizens to Take Safety Precautions During and After Hurricane Matthew
Raleigh - As damage and road closures from Hurricane Matthew are reported across central and eastern North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory is encouraging residents to take safety precautions when encountering downed power lines, downed trees and standing water.
"Hurricane Matthew is presenting major challenges across the state, with heavy impacts on road conditions across eastern and central North Carolina," Governor McCrory said. "We are seeing lots of fallen trees, downed power lines and flooded roads. I urge people to stay off the roads until conditions improve. If you must travel, drivers should slow down, avoid roads with standing water and obey all traffic signs, including barricades."
Governor McCrory surveys road conditions at the NCDOT Statewide Operations Center.
Parts of several major highways have been closed due to flooding and downed trees caused by Hurricane Matthew.
As of 4 p.m., the following roads are closed:
I-95 at mile marker 44 just north of Tom Starling Road outside of Fayetteville.
I-95 at mile 116 and 119 at N.C. 42 and 95 in Wilson County
I-40 on the Johnston Sampson county line near mile marker 242. A detour is in place.
N.C. 87 just north of the town of Tar Heel in Bladen County.
U.S. 701 north of Clarkton in Bladen County.
N.C. 242 north of Elizabethtown in Bladen County.
In addition to road closures, more than 315,000 power outages across North Carolina have been reported Saturday afternoon due to the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
All power lines should be considered energized, whether they have fallen completely or are sagging. Power lines can be hidden by debris and standing water. It is important to stay away from power lines and be careful moving around in damaged areas.
"Do not take chances with your safety or the safety of others," Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry said. "Wait to clear debris, including fallen trees and branches, until the storm has passed and stay off the roads. Most storm-related deaths are caused by drowning in automobiles during flash flooding. If caught in rising water, abandon your vehicle and move to higher ground quickly."
It takes less than two feet of water to float an average size car. If line markings on the road are not visible, do not drive through the water. There is no guarantee that the road that was there before the storm still exists. Remember: turn around, don't drown.
For more information, go to ReadyNC.org or download the free ReadyNC app, which has real-time weather, traffic and shelter information.