Governor Cooper says I-40 has reopened throughout NC after Florence flooding

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Many roads remain closed as Florence continues to affect North Carolina. However, Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Monday afternoon that I-40 has reopened throughout North Carolina.

That news was music to many ears.

"That's real good because we were afraid we were going to have another motel," said Ricky Sanderson, who stayed in Atlantic City during the storm. "We've really spent a lot of money. We don't really have no family. Just the four of us."

Wilmington resident Debra Pardini left her home on September 11 and went to her son's house in Mebane to ride out Hurricane Florence.

"We left our apartment and I left work early that day," Pardini said. "It was crazy. My mom is in Southport. We had to make sure it was all good too. She didn't want to leave. It was just crazy.

"We met a lot of nice people who did the same thing, who were displaced like we were," she added. "It's a little unsettling at the time when you realize you don't know what it's going to be like, you don't know what you're going to come back to."

I-40 has re-opened from NC 41 (Exit 385) to Wilmington. There are currently 2 eastbound lanes open and one westbound lane open.

On Sunday, Cooper announced that I-95 through North Carolina is open.

"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."

Travel is still not advised in portions of southeastern North Carolina.

NCDOT advises motorists to avoid unnecessary travel in the following counties: Bladen and Wayne (because of flooding and/or washout of multiple major travel routes), and Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland because of flooding and/or washout of multiple North Carolina and secondary routes.

US-70 is open between I-95 and the coast with one lane closed in each direction in Kinston.

US 74 is open from I-95 to Wilmington.

We're trying our best to keep this in real time. If you can't find the best route for your destination, use the map provided by NCDOT.

VIDEO: Drone footage shows I-40 completely underwater after Hurricane Florence

The North Carolina Division of Aviation shot drone footage of a flooded I-40 near Mile Marker 387 on Monday.

RELATED: How to get in and out of Wilmington after Florence road closures

Although water has receded on some roads, the roads and bridges may be damaged and the road closures are still in effect. The NCDOT reminds motorists to obey signs and do not go around or move barricades.

"Water and nature and weather: it be can scary, but look at today, it's a gorgeous sunny day," Pardini said. "You wouldn't know people have been dealing with devastation."

Since so many side roads are closed, for the best route, use NCDOT's interactive map above, or call (877) 511-4662.

ABC11's Josh Chapin contributed to this report.