I-95 reopened more than a week after Hurricane Florence


GODWIN, NC – SEPTEMBER 15: Traffic takes exit 65 from north bound I-95 after it was closed due to flood waters crossing the highway from Hurricane Florence passing through the area on September 15, 2018 in Godwin, North Carolina. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Interstate 95 through North Carolina is back open after Hurricane Florence shut down the thoroughfare for more than a week, according to the North Carolina Governor’s Office.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the reopening Sunday night.

The hurricane flooded parts of I-95, leaving portions the interstate closed since Sept. 15, but floodwaters receded sooner than expected.

As soon as the waters went down, the North Carolina Department of Transportation was able to finish needed inspections and repairs.

“I-95 is a major artery for North Carolina and the entire East Coast that’s essential for commerce,” Cooper said in a news release. “Our state DOT crews and engineers have worked around the clock to get this critical interstate open ahead of schedule and reduce traffic in areas still needed for critical life-saving missions.”

The governor warned, however, that the travel in parts of southeastern North Carolina is still “treacherous.”

As of 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the state reported 455 road closures.

“Hundreds of roads across our state remain closed, and flooded and damaged roads remain a danger in many areas,” Cooper said. “Never drive on flooded roads or around road closure barricades. The barricades are there for a reason. The roads may be unsafe, underwater or in some areas missing.”

NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon extended his thanks to the state’s construction partners, the State Highway Patrol, the Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau and local officials.

“They were integral to us successfully managing traffic during the closure and quickly reopening the highway,” Trogdon said.

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