Roads could still be closed

Staff WriterApril 18, 2011 

Major roads remain blocked by fallen trees and downed power lines in the wake of Saturday's storm, including a main artery into downtown Raleigh - a scenario that could snarl morning commuters today.

City officials are warning commuters who use South Saunders Street between Interstate 40 and South Street to find an alternate route.

Buffaloe Road, the outbound portion of New Bern Avenue and the Cardinal Grove area northeast of downtown remained closed Sunday. Parts of Forestville Road were shut down as N.C. Department of Transportation cleanup crews waited for Progress Energy workers to handle broken power lines.

"This has taken such a team effort to get everything cleared," DOT spokeswoman Amanda Perry said. "We've done everything we can do on our own. Now we're just hoping all the other puzzle pieces fall into place so we can get done as quickly as possible."

As of late Sunday, roads that remained closed due to downed power lines included:

South Saunders Street between I-40 and South Street.

Maywood Avenue between Lake Wheeler Road and South Saunders Street

Forestville Road between Mitchell Mill Road and Old Watkins Road

Serendipity Drive

Carolina Pines Avenue between Lake Wheeler Road and Henslowe Street

Buffaloe Road between New Hope Road and Westminster Road

Sightseers out to view the damage have been noticed in some areas, Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said. Police are asking nonresidents to stay out of those areas, as traffic may delay recovery efforts.

Some streets in the hardest-hit areas are blocked.

Thirty city cleanup crews were deployed doing "cut and shove" clearing of the roads Sunday afternoon, cutting up tree trunks and large branches to move to the side of the road to retrieve later, city of Raleigh spokesman Christopher Riley said.

All major state-maintained highways and roads are clear, Perry said.

chelsea.kellner@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4802

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