Hurricane Matthew was a major logistical disaster besides flooding. Our infrastructure completely failed. This storm was a bigger safety problem in evacuating rather than weathering at home.
Some of my family were stuck in Lumberton, in a hotel with no electric, no gasoline and no food, because they were trapped coming home from vacation. They first spent a night in their vehicles at a truck stop with no power. I cannot bring gas to them, as there are no alternate routes open, and I’m told authorities won’t let me in to provide gas to get them out.
Florida, after 2005’s Hurricane Wilma, required gas stations near highways and evacuation routes to have backup generators. After Superstorm Sandy, New York and New Jersey have upgraded select stations with backup generators.
North Carolina, one of the most hurricane affected states, has taken no action. Why? Evacuate, but there’s no help getting back home. Why should anyone living on the coast evacuate if they are going to end up trapped?
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Also, NCDOT needs to re-evaluate its funding formula to give extra consideration for projects that prevent closures due to flooding. If it floods, it will flood again. Let’s elevate these roadways and our safety.