|Road Work and Lane Closure Suspensions Starting Friday to Accommodate Evacuees
RALEIGH – To aid with Hurricane Irma evacuations, starting Friday night at 7 p.m., NCDOT will suspend road work and lane closures on major highways that would impact traffic flow.
An exception to the lane closure plan is on I-85 between Henderson and the Virginia line in Vance and Warren Counties. It will remain in a two-way pattern with a single lane in each direction over 20 miles, as there are no additional lanes to open due to the nature of the construction project at that location.
There is an alternate route for northbound drivers to avoid possible congestion through the work zone. Drivers can go on I-40 East at the I-40/85 interchange in Orange County, then I-540 East in Durham, followed by I-87 North on the east side of Raleigh to access I-95 North in Rocky Mount.
NCDOT has planned ahead for potential debris removal. Crews around the state have prepared equipment ahead of the storm. Crews and equipment also stand ready to be dispatched to other areas of the state.
When roads are flooded, or there is potential for flooding, drivers should use alternate routes. A foot of water, for example, can cause vehicles to float, while two feet of rushing water can carry away vehicles, including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
Falling trees can bring down power lines. If drivers see trees entangled in power lines in the road, they should not approach them.
A Continuing Challenge for Isothermal RPO’s Member Counties
According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, as compiled by NC Rural Center, 41 of North Carolina’s rural counties (80 in total) have seen declines in employment from May 2016 – May 2017. Of North Carolina’s 6 urban and 14 suburban counties, only one, Cumberland saw losses in employment.
For Isothermal’s three counties, it was a net loss of 412 jobs, (click the County name to see the pdf which has more information).
McDowell lost 308 jobs, or -1.5%
Polk gained 60 jobs, or 0.7%
Rutherford lost 164 jobs, or -0.7%