Hurricane Florence, downgraded Sunday to a tropical depression, has forced the closure of numerous roads in Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the Cape Fear region because of flooding, fallen trees and downed power lines.

Conditions are not expected to improve Monday.

"Right now, the road conditions are deteriorating quickly, and a road that is open now may become impassable an hour later," said Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Emergency Management officials and the DOT are urging people to stay off the roads until the waters recede, which could be several days.

"Our crews and contracts have begun going out into the counties to clear roads of trees and other debris," Barksdale said, "and putting up high water and road closed signs where there is standing water on the road or where a road has washed out."

Most of Interstate 95 is closed between the South Carolina line and mile marker 100 in Johnston County. Currently, there is no land access to Wilmington, as I-40 in Duplin County and U.S. 74 in Columbus County are impassable in both directions.

Statewide, more than 600 roads are closed because of Florence, Barksdale said.

"Cumberland, Robeson, Columbus, Bladen and Hoke counties are especially hard-hit with road closures," he said.

U.S. 301, or Dunn Road, is impassable near Sweetwater Road, between Rhodes Pond and Godwin near the Harnett-Cumberland county line.

One lane of N.C. 87 South in Spring Lake was closed because of high water, and N.C. 210 is closed in Harnett County, south of Lillington. N.C. 210 in Cumberland County, east of Fayetteville, is closed in both directions because of flooding.

In Hope Mills, Black Bridge Road is closed in both directions near the Rockfish Road bridge, due to flooding.

DOT has given estimated times for reopening the roads, but Barksdale said the times may be delayed depending on how high the water rises and how soon debris can be cleared.

A travel curfew is in effect in Bladen County from 8 p.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Monday. Flooded roads include N.C. 242 north of Elizabethtown, N.C. 131 south of Tar Heel, and N.C. 211 west of Clarkton.

U.S. 701 north of Clarkton and N.C. 211 east of Bladenboro are also closed.

In Harnett County, most major highways and roads are closed including I-95, N.C. 210 South of Lillington and N.C. 82 near Angier.

Major road closures in Hoke County included N.C. 211 at Balfour Road and Rockfish Road at School Street.

In Moore County, N.C. 690 is closed in both directions near Vass — at McGill and Morrison roads — because of flooding. Niagara-Carthage Road is closed at Farm Life Road because of flooding.

In Robeson County, U.S. 74 is closed near I-95. N.C. 130 is closed in both directions near Rowland. N.C. 211 is closed near Red Springs and Lumberton, as is N.C. 71, heading south from Red Springs toward Shannon; and N.C. 72 near Red Springs and Lumberton.

Road closures in Sampson County include N.C. 24, east of Clinton; N.C. 242, or Salemburg Highway, north of Roseboro.

In Fayetteville, roads were being closed Sunday afternoon as water continued rising. They include:

South Reilly Road at Northumberland Road; Ramsey Street at Andrews Road; Ray Avenue at Maiden Lane; Cedar Creek Road at Warren Street; and Sapona Road.

 

Staff writer Nancy McCleary can be reached at nmccleary@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3568. Staff writer John Henderson can be reached at jhenderson@fayobserver.com or 910-486-3596.