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NCDOT prepares for upcoming hurricane season

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 8:27 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - With hurricane season starting on June 1st, North Carolina Department of Transportation workers are doing what they can to help people prepare.

Crews spent Wednesday preparing storm supplies and testing out chainsaws.

With a low pressure system causing coastal flooding that swept away two homes, Rhett Gerrald, Craven County maintenance engineer, emphasized the importance of preparing for tropical storms.

“These type of storms can pop up on our shore,” Gerrald said. “High water and waves can wash away homes and vehicles. Please listen to emergency personal or weather channel and stay updated on any type of events.”

WITN Meteorologist Phillip Williams says a hurricane makes landfall in North Carolina once every other year. One of the worst to hit our region was Hurricane Florence in 2018.

Flood waters from that storm overwhelmed most businesses in Downtown New Bern, including the ABC liquor store. Owner Chip Chagnon says the natural disaster caused more than $50,000 worth of damage and $100,000 to renovate the store.

If a storm rolls up to the shore again, Chagnon says he’s prepared this time around.

“We lifted up a lot of the mechanical items like the air conditioning system, the pumps, lifting them up off the water,” Chagnon said.

When the water does come, NCDOT officials are asking everyone to be aware when driving.

The warning is simple: If you see a flooded road, turn around.

“If its over 6 inches of water, it could wash your vehicle away,” Gerrald said.

Hurricane season starts on June 1st and runs through Nov. 30th.

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