RALEIGH - Hurricane Florence battered southeastern areas of North Carolina from Sept. 14-16, 2018, bringing torrential rainfall and record wind speeds with her. The storm left behind flooded and damaged roads and bridges in many areas of the state.
One year later, we remember the impact this disaster had on many of our neighbors. All roads are back open and the department continues looking for ways to prepare for and respond to natural disasters in the future.
- On Sept. 11, Governor Cooper issued a mandatory state evacuation order for vulnerable coastal areas.
- Working alongside IMAP crews and State Highway Patrol, the department also used a signal system on major evacuation routes to help keep traffic moving. As a result, daily average speeds (mph) stayed close to the set speed limit on those roads.
- The Ferry Division evacuated 1,074 vehicles and 2,181 people.
- NCDOT deployed the following resources to prepare:
- Division personnel: 2,384
- Chainsaws: 1,285
- Trucks (dump trucks and flat beds): 1,480
- Heavy equipment: 653
- Barricades: 3,326
- Signs (road closed and high water): 5,120
Drone Use in Recovery Efforts
- The NCDOT Division of Aviation launched the first coordinated state drone response to support emergency management of a disaster.
- In total, NCDOT’s UAS efforts included: 15 drone teams; flew more than 260 missions; captured more than 8,000 videos and images of roads, bridges and dams to assess conditions and divert the public away from unsafe areas
Additional Department Support
- Global TransPark in Kinston hosted the eastern branch of Emergency Management. This group included 1,500 federal and state emergency response agencies and military teams from across the country. Crews arrived at the site and were fully operational within 24 hours.
- Ahead of the storm, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division evacuated more than 2,000 people from Ocracoke Island on the Hatteras, Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes.
- NCDOT’s Public Transportation Division, with its local and regional partners, organized 184 buses for use before and during the storm. More than 3,300 trips were made.