Travel, Flooding Update for Eastern NC

The skies may be clearing, but the dangers from flooding are still on the rise. The Cape Fear River, Little River, Lumber River, Neuse River, Trent River, and others are all still rising and authorities are scrambling to get people out of harms way.

From Vanceboro, to Wilmington, to New Bern and all the little communities in between, National Guard soldiers are performing water rescues and urging remaining residents lucky enough to have dry properties to leave before the rivers crest.

Below is an update on road conditions in case you were thinking of traveling down that way to help.

As of Tuesday, 255 primary roads were closed in North Carolina, down from 356 on Monday, said Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon. Add in secondary roads, and more than 1,100 are closed.

The conditions are particularly bad in the southeast corner of the state, in a triangle between Lumberton, Wilmington and Jacksonville. Both Cooper and Trogdon asked that people not try to get to Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties. There are driving routes into Wilmington, but state officials are not disclosing them, because they don’t want the public using them.

“Routes we have only support first responders,” Trogdon said. “They are not safe routes. They have risks of their own.”

Interstate 40 is closed from Exit 385 near Wallace to the New Hanover County line because of flooding.

▪ Southbound Interstate 95 is closed from I-40 in Johnston County south to Exit 65 at N.C. 82 near Godwin, while northbound is closed from Exit 65 to Exit 73 at Dunn. I-95 is also closed between exits 19 and 22 in Lumberton because of flooding. The recommended detour for southbound traffic is to take I-40 west all the way to Hickory, and get on U.S. 321 south until it meets I-85 in Gastonia. NCDOT has put up barriers on southbound I-95 at U.S. 64 in Rocky Mount to enforce the detour there; local traffic headed to Wilson or Johnston County must take 64 one way or the other and find alternative routes to their destinations.

▪ U.S. 301, which parallels I-95, is closed in several places in Cumberland and Robeson counties.

▪ U.S. 74 is closed from I-95 east into Columbus County and then again in several places after its merger with U.S. 76 through Columbus and Brunswick counties to Wilmington.

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