DOT chief: I-40, I-95 to remain closed for another week or more

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— Interstate 40 and Interstate 95, which have been plagued by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Florence, will remain closed for at least another week, state Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said Thursday.

Trogdon said flooding on the Cape Fear River and the Lumber River need to subside, and neither will finish cresting until this weekend. It could take at least another week after the crests for water levels to drop back below the level where floodwaters on on the highways, he said.

The state Department of Transportation has a list of all roads closed due to flooding or damage from Florence.

In a statement on Thursday, the DOT reminded that motorists should not travel in the state in areas south of U.S. Highway 264 and east of Interstate 73 and Interstate 74.

“There is still no safe, reliable route to Wilmington,” a DOT spokesman said Thursday morning.

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Major state routes that are closed include Interstate 95 south of Dunn and Interstate 40 starting at Duplin and Pender counties and leading into Wilmington.

The DOT is asking motorists to stay off major roads, especially I-40, so emergency crews can deliver vital supplies to areas in need.

“These routes are vital for recovery efforts,” a release read. “Excess traffic, and stalled or wrecked vehicles can become a major hindrance to recovery efforts.”

Drone video shared by the DOT shows what I-40 looks like near Wallace.

If you must drive east, here are the best routes to Kinston, New Bern, Jacksonville

  • To get from Raleigh to Kinston, the DOT recommends U.S. Highway 64 East to U.S. 264 East to Greenville then N.C. Highway 11 South to Kinston.
  • To get from Raleigh to New Bern, the DOT recommends U.S. 64 East to U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington, then U.S. 17 South to New Bern.
  • To get from Raleigh to Havelock, the DOT recommends U.S. 64 East to U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington, then U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South to New Bern, then U.S. 70 East to Havelock.
  • To get from Raleigh to Morehead City, the DOT recommends U.S. 64 East to U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington, then U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South to New Bern, then U.S. 70 East through Havelock to Morehead City.
  • To get from Raleigh to Jacksonville, the DOT recommends U.S. 64 East to U.S. 264 East through Greenville to Washington, then U.S. 264 East to U.S. 17 South to New Bern, then U.S. 70 East through Havelock to Morehead City, then U.S. 70 East to N.C. 24 West through Swansboro to Jacksonville.

State officials estimate that I-40 could be inspected this weekend, while I-95 will likely not be inspected until next week. Once the water recedes, engineers will determine the road’s structure and integrity.

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