Remnants of Hurricane Michael are closing roads, canceling flights in North Carolina

Rain and winds from Michael bring huge tree down in Raleigh

A tree on Quail Hollow Drive, near Faulkner Place, fell as high winds from Tropical Storm Michael hit Raleigh, Thursday, October 11, 2018.
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A tree on Quail Hollow Drive, near Faulkner Place, fell as high winds from Tropical Storm Michael hit Raleigh, Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Several roads in North Carolina closed Thursday because of flooding and downed trees as the remnants of Hurricane Michael move through the state, including for a time Capital Boulevard on the north end of downtown Raleigh.

Standing water forced police to close the inbound and outbound lanes of Capital between Wade Avenue and Lane Street for several hours Thursday afternoon and evening. Inbound traffic was being diverted west at Wade, while outbound drivers were directed to Lane Street, according to Raleigh police. All lanes reopened by 7 p.m.

The tail end of the storm brought strong winds that uprooted trees from the rain-soaked soil, blocking roads and dragging down powerlines throughout the Triangle. Raleigh police reported numerous intersections without traffic lights Thursday evening, including along Capital Boulevard north of the Beltline, and Orange County Emergency Management officials urged residents to stay off the roads there because so many had been made impassable.

Interstates and most major highways remained open in the Triangle, though driving rain and poor visibility contributed to numerous traffic accidents.

Raleigh police officers A.S. Freese and B.S. Smith set flares to funnel traffic off N. McDowell Street at West Lane St. as rain from the remnants of Hurricane Michael close Capital Boulevard in and out of downtown Raleigh, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

The storm also interfered with air travel in the Triangle. American Airlines and JetBlue canceled most of their afternoon and evening flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and United and Air Canada scratched some flights as well. Many other flights were delayed. Travelers are urged to check with their carrier before heading to the airport.

As of 5 p.m., more than 100 roads were closed across the state because of the storm, said Gov. Roy Cooper, who urged people not to go out this evening unless they have to. Cooper said as many as 7 inches of rain had fallen in some places and said rain and wind would continue to be problems through the evening.

“We must remain cautious and alert,” he said.

The worst road problems were in and around Boone and Blowing Rock, where 49 roads were closed, said Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon. He said conditions were expected to worsen in the Triangle and Triad area as the storm moved northeastward.

For the information about road closures, go to drivenc.gov.

A raccoon refused to give up when rushing floodwater trapped it on a rock near Crabtree Creek in Raleigh as the remnants of Hurricane Michael passed through the Triangle on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Check out the ABC11 forecast to see when the last of Hurricane and now-Tropical Storm Michael will leave the Triangle area of NC behind.

Seventy-five roads are also still closed in North Carolina because of Hurricane Florence, most of them in the southeastern part of the state. At one time, flooding and downed trees and power lines blocked more than 2,200 roads after Florence came through.

Those that remain closed were seriously damaged, requiring more lengthy repairs.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warns of flooding and the danger of high winds across the state as the remnants of Hurricane Michael move through the area Friday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Ray Castillo captured the Broad River raging over its banks in the Bat Cave, NC area and the Hickory Nut Gorge Campground area.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling
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