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Nuclear Power Plant Evacuations

In the event of an emergency at any of North Carolina's four nuclear power plants – operated by Duke Energy – there are routes designated for evacuation:

Hurricane Evacuations

Evacuation Map

Hurricane Evacuation Map

View North Carolina Hurricane Evacuation Routes

Google Crisis Map


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which roads to take during an evacuation? 

Many evacuation routes in North Carolina are interstates and major highways that can accommodate heavy traffic volumes and higher speed limits and allow motorists to leave threatened areas more quickly and efficiently than if they were to use local roads. Most of these routes are marked with circular blue signs that read "Evacuation Routes."

Travelers uncertain about a route's safety can find out latest road conditions and closures using the N.C. Department of Transportation's Traveler Information Management System or by calling 511, North Carolina's toll-free traveler information line. Travel details will also be posted on permanent and portable message boards along the evacuation routes and will also be communicated via local media.

Why should I take these designated routes and not the back roads I'm more familiar with? 

It all boils down to resources. Emergency responders cannot be everywhere at once. Law enforcement officers, the NCDOT State Farm® Safety Patrol and other personnel are typically positioned along the major evacuation routes to help motorists. Straying from these routes increases the risk of getting stranded or lost.

I'm worried about getting stuck in traffic. What kinds of essential items should I pack before leaving? 

Fuel is an important asset to have during an evacuation. If possible, leave with a full gas tank. Also, take plenty of water and non-perishable food as grocery stores and restaurants might not be open. Another helpful resource is a small, plastic bag for trash, since any litter becomes flying debris during a hurricane.

Once I start driving, what should I watch out for? 

Many things. Hurricanes are incredibly powerful storms that are capable of uprooting trees, washing out bridges and culverts, and littering the roadways with debris. They may also knock down power lines and cause outages. That is why it is best not to drive during or right after a hurricane.

If you must drive, be sure to use extreme caution, obey all posted warning signs and follow NCDOT's guidelines for driving on hazardous roads. If you approach a potentially dangerous situation, turn around immediately and find an alternate route.

What if I run out of gas while on the road? 

If you run out of gas or experience trouble with your vehicle during an evacuation, move your vehicle safely to the shoulder of the road to reduce unnecessary congestion. During a major evacuation, NCDOT's goal is to have the NCDOT State Farm® Safety Patrol available to help keep lanes clear and traffic moving.

There is some water flowing down my street, but the news says the main roads are clear. Should I drive through it? 

Absolutely not.Wait for the water to recede before you drive. Moving water can be extremely dangerous, even if it is shallow. It is powerful enough to push a car off the road and strand its passengers within minutes. You also cannot be sure exactly how deep the water is or what is lying beneath its surface. It could be concealing a large sinkhole or piece of debris, both of which could seriously hurt you and damage your vehicle.

If you must drive, be sure to use extreme caution, obey all posted warning signs and follow NCDOT's guidelines for driving on hazardous roads.