The storm surge from Hurricane Florence has begun to make some highways impassable in Eastern North Carolina.
N.C. 12 is closed on Hatteras Island, and parts of U.S. 70 are shut down between Beaufort and Atlantic, as floodwaters covered the pavement in numerous places, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
NCDOT said many secondary roads in Carteret County also are overtopped with water and that conditions were expected to get worse through the evening. Several roads were also reportedly closed near Oriental in Pamlico County. And East Front Street is flooded and closed in New Bern.
NCDOT announced about 1 p.m. Thursday that N.C. 12 was closed south of Oregon Inlet. Water and sand was covering the highway near Rodanthe and in Avon, Buxton and just north of Hatteras Village.
NCDOT said the highway will likely remain closed while Florence continued to move inland. Not only will the sand and debris need to be removed, but the pavement and bridges will need to be inspected and possibly repaired.
Drivers can check the status of state-maintained roads on an interactive map at tims.ncdot.gov/tims/. NCDOT warns that during a big storm there can be a lag time between when a road becomes impassable and when it gets marked as closed on the website.
State officials have continually warned people not to drive through water. Of the 26 people killed as a result of Hurricane Matthew two years ago, 17 were driving or were passengers in vehicles on flooded roads that were swept into deep water.
“Never drive on roads covered by water,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday evening. “It only takes a few inches to wash away a car.”