RALEIGH – A significant amount of rainfall spawned by two colliding weather systems that included Tropical Storm Eta has impacted several regions of North Carolina, prompting hundreds of road closures, a few interstate shutdowns and some bridge washouts today.
More roads may close overnight. The N.C. Department of Transportation recommends extreme caution if you must drive as conditions are changing rapidly. Roads not impacted yet could suddenly become swollen with floodwaters.
For up-to-date conditions, visit DriveNC.gov and search by county or route.
“This storm is bringing a torrential amount of rainfall to some areas of the state, and we are not out of the woods yet," said Tim Little, the department's chief engineer. “It's dangerous right now to be out on the roadways, so we urge everyone to be extremely cautious."
As of 2:30 p.m., the NCDOT was reporting more than 230 road closures on state-maintained roads. Two sections of I-95 were closed today, and it's not clear when they will reopen. These were some of the areas affected:
- In Iredell County, two bridges have completely washed out and at least three other bridges have sustained damage.
- I-95 South remains closed between mile markers 116 and 121 near Wilson and I-95 North between mile markers 102-107 in Johnston County because of flooding and potential pavement damage.
- Communities roughly along I-77 between Charlotte and Statesville.
- The Wilson-Rocky Mount area.
Earlier in the day, a 20-mile stretch of I-85 in the Charlotte area was sporadically closed as floodwaters crept onto the highway.
The NCDOT urges people never to drive through flooded roads and recommended the following safety tips for drivers:
- Never drive around barricaded roads.
- Drive at least 5-10 mph below the speed limit on wet pavement.
- Allow at least twice the normal following distance between vehicles.
- Signal for turns and brake earlier than usual.
- Turn on your headlights while using your windshield wipers.