For news on Hurricane Florence and on Ocracoke, click here.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 9:22 p.m.
While entry has been OKed for residents and visitors to Dare County including Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island remains closed.
This is because of over wash on N.C. 12 at the north end of the island and continued flooding on mainland Hyde County roads. Hyde County officials will make announcements via a press release Sunday morning.
The Hyde County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been informed that there is currently over 10 inches of water over Highway 94 on the Fairfield side of the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge. Do not attempt to travel this route.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence continues its historic wrath with now up to nine deaths reported and 30 inches of rain in the Jacksonville area. Road conditions across nearly all of North Carolina are rapidly deteriorating. As the storm continues to pound North Carolina and moves westward, flooding is increasing.
Gov. Roy Cooper today urged North Carolinians to beware of rising floodwaters in eastern and central counties across the Sandhills and in the mountains. Some rivers will begin to see major flooding today continuing into middle of next week. Twice as many roads were closed Saturday as flood waters rose across the state, and swift-water rescues continued in eastern North Carolina.
“The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall just over 24 hours ago,” Cooper said. “More people now face imminent threat than when the storm was offshore. I cannot overstate it: Flood waters are rising. If you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life.”
The N.C. Department of Transportation said today that all roadways in North Carolina are at risk of flash flooding. Beginning late this morning, flash-floods began closing major interstates, U.S. and state routes including I-40 between I-95 and Wilmington and parts of I-95. Highway 264 from the Beaufort County line to Rose Bay is still impassable as is the area along the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge to Dare County,
Because flash floods come so quickly, it is strongly recommended that North Carolina residents find high ground and remain there until the risk of flooding has decreased.
Identifying detour routes through North Carolina for those traveling through the state using interstates I-95, I-40, I-85, I-77 and I-26 is becoming increasingly difficult as the remnants of Hurricane Florence move west and are predicted to cause significant flooding in South Carolina. NCDOT traffic specialists are working with transportation officials in South Carolina to identify alternate routes that are at the lowest possible risk of flooding. Traffic experts are working with transportation officials in Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
At this time, drivers who would travel through North Carolina will be detoured completely around the state. If traveling south on I-95, the route around North Carolina will be: I-64 West in Virginia to I-81, to I-75 in Tennessee to I-16 in Georgia. From there, drivers can access I-95.
This is an extremely long detour, but it is the detour that offers the lowest risk of flooding at this time. Please note those conditions can change as Hurricane Florence moves across the southern North Carolina border and begins to impact South Carolina.
In addition, NCDOT is working with the state Highway Patrol, emergency management, National Guard and the U.S. Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement to ensure critical personnel and supplies can be delivered to impacted areas.