SOUTHEAST N.C. — Hurricane Florence might be history, but its impacts live on in the Coastal Carolinas, especially in terms of roads closed due to damages and flooding from the storm. At its peak, the North Carolina Department of Transportation closed more than 1,600 roads across the state.
“The state now has less than 300 closed sections of roadway, down from more than 1,600 during the peak of the storm. More than 2,600 DOT employees are working on recovery efforts, including 250 crew members who have left less impacted areas of the state to help their coworkers in the hardest hit areas. They’ve been joined by 160 contractors helping with cleanup and recovery,” according to an NCDOT press release.
It might not seem like water alone can cause so much damage to roadways, but there are several different impacts floodwaters have on the road systems.
“Generally, flooding can cause a washout of road, or a culvert blowout that also damages the road surface, or, in some locations, there is an erosion of the shoulder and side of a road, or even a washout of the material under the road. One of the reasons we repeatedly remind people not to go around barriers. Just because the road surface looks fine, doesn’t mean it is safe until our inspectors make sure it is,” NCDOT spokesman Steve Abbott said.
Now that the waters are receding, NCDOT crews are able to check the status of roads and asses the damages done by Florence: many roads were left without damage while others were devastated.