NCDOT urging drivers not to return to Wilmington area for now

first_img National Guard members stand watch by a barricade blocking drivers from crossing the Moore’s Creek Bridge on NC Highway 210. Patriot’s Hall is used for a number of events at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield and now contains about 4 feet of water. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence resulted in flooding at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. A building at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield is nearly covered with floodwater. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence resulted in flooding at the picnic shelter at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. Nearly 75 percent of Moore’s Creek National Battlefield is covered with floodwater. Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence resulted in flooding at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield.Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence resulted in flooding at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. National Guard members stand watch by a barricade blocking drivers from crossing the Moore’s Creek Bridge on NC Highway 210. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Nearly a week after Hurricane Florence came ashore dumping massive amounts of rain, most primary roads leading to Wilmington remain flooded or severely weakened. That’s why neither the chamber nor anyone else is throwing out the welcome mat to visitors or locals who scrambled out of town before the hurricane made landfall. Instead, officials are advising folks to stay away.Around 3 a.m. Thursday, rising floodwaters along the Northeast Cape Fear River prompted the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to block both the northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 421 at the Pender and New Hanover County line.- Advertisement – “We don’t know when it will reopen,” said NCDOT Spokesman Steve Abbott.Once a road or bridge is deemed unsafe and closed following a major weather event, Abbott says staff engineers must thoroughly inspect each incident to ensure its safe before allowing drivers to use it again. With so many roads in southeastern North Carolina under water or compromised, it may take a very long time for all these inspections to be done.When asked if the NCDOT has a recommended route for evacuees who may be in Raleigh or Charlotte and want to return home, Abbott said the NCDOT is not going to recommend a route.Related Article: Expect road work on Kerr Avenue to continue into fall“We prefer folks not to come to the coast yet,” Abbott said.The reason? In a word — congestion.He says officials are concerned too many drivers on a single road or series of roads will cause congestion and make it difficult for fuel trucks, heavy-duty military and other emergency vehicles to transport critical supplies to the region for rescue and recovery efforts which are still going on.Furthermore, Abbott says hundreds of NCDOT workers are coming from other parts of the state to assist with road repairs throughout the areas impacted by Florence.You can check on roads conditions at NCDOT’s website. Beware, what may indicate as an open road now, could quickly change as the water rises in an area leaving you stranded along the road someplace you may not want to be.While some roads will be open for drivers once floodwaters recede, that’s not the case for many.Some of these roads may require weeks, if not months, to repair. There are a number of reasons. One, the areas impacted must completely dry out, and secondly, some repairs Abbott says are only done by private contractors before NCDOT workers can start the process of laying asphalt, etc. 1 of 8 Floodwaters cover a monument at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. Floodwaters surround a monument at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield. Moore’s Creek National Battlefield Flooding One of those complicated repairs is in Pender County.A ramp leading to the Moore’s Creek Bridge on N.C. Highway 210 washed out during the storm and the National Guard is blocking the road to prevent anyone from driving over the bridge. Abbott said rumors about the bridge being completely washed away were not true, at least not as of Thursday morning, he said.About a half mile from the bridge is the entrance to Moore’s Creek National Battleground in Currie.Currently, 75 percent of the park remains under water. The visitor center, built on a raised portion of land, was above ground Thursday morning. However, the park’s Patriot Hall which recently underwent a pricey renovation, now has a minimum of four feet of water inside.“The flooding has exceeded what we got during hurricanes Matthew and Floyd,” said Chief Ranger Matt Woods.last_img

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