Hundreds of roads closed, flights canceled in Irene's wake

Posted August 28, 2011 9:57 a.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2011 2:51 p.m. EDT

— Debris, floodwaters and damage from Hurricane Irene kept hundreds of roads and dozens of bridges closed throughout eastern North Carolina closed Sunday. Air and train travel to the Northeast was also disrupted as the now-tropical storm pounded that region.

Sgt. Jeff Gordon, a spokesman for the state Highway Patrol, urged motorists east of Interstate 95 to stay home and off the roads, so clean-up and utility crews can work as quickly as possible.

Much of the Outer Banks, a 200-mile string of barrier islands, remains cut off.

Northbound N.C. Highway 12 is blocked at Duck, and southbound traffic is being stopped before it can enter the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The highway is impassable in spots on Ocracoke Island.

Authorities are not allowing residents or visitors to re-enter Hyde County, and access to Ocracoke Island won't be allowed Sunday.

Residents, critical workers and business owners are being allowed back into accessible areas of Dare County. However, visitors and the general public are not.

The Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach bridges have been reopened.

Emerald Isle reopened to permit holders Sunday morning, and the general public will be allowed on the island starting at 1 p.m. Access to Atlantic Beach and Pine Knoll Shores is restricted to people with valid re-entry permits.

All lanes of Interstate 95 North in Halifax County has reopened after being closed overnight due to fallen trees

Other significant road closures include:

  • U.S. 17 in Windsor and U.S. 17 Business in Hertford
  • U.S. 13 in Snow Hill
  • U.S. 158 in Gatesville
  • U.S. 70 in Beaufort
  • U.S. 264 near Washington
  • U.S. 264 Alternate in Walstonburg and in Tarboro
  • N.C. 53 in Jacksonville
  • N.C. 11 in Kinston
  • N.C. 41 in Wallace and Beulaville
  • N.C. 210 in Sneeds Feery
  • N.C. 903 in Beulaville
  • N.C. 50 in Burgaw
  • N.C. 561 in Halifax
  • U.S. 301 in Halifax County

Flights, trains to Northeast canceled

More than 200 flights from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to airports in the Northeast were cancelled Sunday.

RDU was operating normally, but five Northeastern airports – Philadephia, Newark, N.J., John F. Kennedy, La Guardia and Teterboro, N.J. – were closed.

Travelers should check the status of their flight with their airline before going to RDU.

Amtrak canceled all train service from Maine to Florida that was scheduled for Sunday. That includes trips within the state of North Carolina, as well service to other states.

Railroad staff is assessing the track affected by the hurricane.

Greyhound also canceled all bus service to cities in the Northeast and east of I-95 from Richmond, Va., to Portland, Maine.