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Storm Surge of Calls Floods DOT Information Center

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RALEIGH — Hurricane Floyd is long gone but there is still a storm surge of calls coming in to theDepartment Of Transportationwar room, where North Carolina residents want to know which roads are open and which are closed.

In a normal week, about 700 calls come in to the war room. But last Saturday alone operators here answered about 50,000 calls.

The most common question is about Interstate 40: When will it be open? The answer is: No one is sure. But officials say it will probably be a while.

One hundred people are trying to stem the flood of road requests in the "war room," where it is a real battle keeping up with all the calls and the constantly changing road conditions.

"You just have to continue to look around, and when they're asking for different destinations, and people are bringing things in over your back, you just have to remember what you saw last, and hunt for where you put that, and just give them the best information you can," says DOT employee Shirley Scott.

Not all the calls are unhappy ones, though. "I had a lady in Jacksonville who had just delivered a baby boy, and she was so excited, and she was trying to get her mother down to see her grandchild, so that was a really nice call to get," worker Connie Morgan says.

For the most current road information, you can call the DOT hotline at (877) DOT-4YOU, or check out the DOT Web site.

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Mark Roberts, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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