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Monday, May 20, 2024

Coming home: NCDOT announces safe routes to Wilmington more than a week after Florence

Drivers have been discouraged to return to Wilmington for more than a week, that is finally changing according to the NCDOT.

Drivers can use three different routes to get into Wilmington according to NCDOT (Port City Daily/File)
Drivers can use three different routes to get into Wilmington according to NCDOT (Port City Daily/File)

WILMINGTON — After more than a week of urging evacuees to stay put and not try to return to Wilmington, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has announced three routes drivers can use to get into town.

According to an NCDOT press release, “The N.C. Department of Transportation announced today it has identified three safe alternate routes the public may use to access Wilmington, which was flooded by Hurricane Florence.

These are the recommend routes:

• From the south, take U.S. 17
• From the north, travel on Interstate 40 East to N.C. 24 East (exit 373), then onto U.S. 17 South
• From Fayetteville, take N.C. 87 to U.S. 701 South to N.C. 211 East to U.S. 74 East

Additionally, people may use I-40 to exit 373 and N.C. 24 to reach Jacksonville, the release states.

There are still several regions in the state that are at risk of flooding including: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, Jones, Lenoir, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, and southeastern Wayne counties. Officials are encouraging drivers to avoid these areas if possible.

“NCDOT is making progress on reducing the number of road closures, which statewide totaled 550 this morning. However, rivers are cresting through this weekend in southeastern North Carolina, where many roads remain impassable, including sections of I-40 closer to Wilmington. NCDOT must wait for the water to recede, then inspect for damage and make any necessary repairs before reopening the roads,” according to the release.

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