NCDOT: Don’t travel unless you need to Friday into weekend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – State transportation officials preparing for Hurricane Ian are urging people to avoid unnecessary travel starting Friday into the weekend.

The state Department of Transportation says more than 2,200 of its employees in all 100 counties have prepared equipment for possible clearing efforts, repairs, and pipe replacements after the storm passes.

NCDOT has gotten ready 374 backhoes and loaders, 223 motor graders, 1,436 chainsaws, and 1,371 trucks so that downed trees and other debris from roads can be cleared as soon as possible. Transportation crews have also made sure that dozens of portable generators are ready and that traffic services are staging message boards.

WITN is told that crews have also loaded emergency trailers with 4,623 barricades, 3,698 high water signs, and 2,749 road closure signs so they can be deployed as needed.

The department says its divisions have arranged to have staff on-call to respond around the clock throughout the weekend and have placed contractors on standby.

“Until it is safe, people should stay off the roads in storm-affected areas,” Joey Hopkins, NCDOT’s chief operating officer said. “Don’t drive through roads with standing water, and never drive around barricades. They are there to protect you.”

Safe driving tips can be found here.

North Carolina officials are using the state’s new advanced flood-warning system for the first time during a major weather event.

State Ferry Division officials ended the Ocracoke Express 2022 seasonal passenger ferry service after the 7:30 p.m. departure Wednesday.

Amtrak has suspended some services that operate through North Carolina serving southern Georgia and Florida. Visit for updates.

The North Carolina Ports Authority is pausing vessel operations Friday in Wilmington and Morehead City due to anticipated high winds.

Finally, the Division of Motor Vehicles is monitoring conditions and could close some offices Friday afternoon in impacted areas. Closures and changes to office hours can be found on the NCDMV office locations page.

Do you see something needing a correction? Email us!