Local News

Travel In and Out of Wilmington Difficult At Best

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — The beaches are open, but the roads to and from the beaches are closed.

That's the frustration for residents in the Wilmington area who are trying to return to their homes and assess the damage left by Hurricane Floyd, as well as vacationers who want to get home to drier -- and higher -- ground.

The main roadways, including Interstate 40, are closed by flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd.

A 70-mile stretch of I-40 remains closed from 18 miles outside of Wilmington to Newton Grove, 40 miles southeast of Raleigh.

Motorists counting on I-40 for travel were looking at their Atlases as treasure maps. The pot of gold: an alternate route.

"I was down visiting some friends [in Wilmington that] I grew up with. I stuck out the storm with them, and now I am trying to get back, and everything is flooded," said Clayton Conrady of Ohio. "I don't know how to get back."

Highways U.S. 421, 74, 76 and 17 are all impassable. You cannot get in or out of Wilmington on those roadways as of noon Friday.