Local News

Flooding Closes Major Highways East of Raleigh

Posted September 16, 1999

— Flooding has closed hundreds of roads in Eastern North Carolina, including part of Interstates 40 and 95 and U.S. 70. Secondary roads are blocked in some places and clear in others.

The State Highway Patrol, Emergency Management Officials and the Department of Transportation say if it is east of I-95, do not plan to drive.

Many people who drove north to escape Floyd want to know when they can return home. And authorities say they are unable to give an answer. Here's the latest as of 6 p.m. Friday:

  • I-95 is closed from Wilson to the Virginia line. I-85 could be an alternative for reaching Virginia and points north.
  • U.S. 301 is closed in Nash County and most of Wilson County.
  • I-40 is closed from exit 343 in Newton Grove to Wilmington.
  • U.S. 117, which runs parallel to I-40, is closed in many locations.
  • U.S. 421 south of Clinton also is blocked in many areas.
  • U.S. 64 east of Nashville is closed.
  • U.S. 70 is blocked in several places.

    The North Carolina Emergency Management Office sums it up with one blanket statement.

    "All roads east of I-95 are closed. In many instances, they're impassable. They're blocked or there is a very strong potential that they are going to flood," said Tom Ditt of N.C. Emergency Management.

    There is a flood of calls coming into the State Highway Patrol's communications center. Everyone wants to know if they can get to the coast.

    "We can remove trees. We can remove power lines. We can restore power, but we cannot control Mother Nature. When these flood waters get across our highways, there is nothing the state can do. Mother Nature's the one closing the highways; the state is not," said Trooper Wade Bullock.

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