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Back to work this week? Here’s how to navigate roads affected by the hurricane

This week, as rain still lingers over the Triangle, residents will start getting back to their normal routines after sheltering at home for a few days.

But during the two-day period when Florence crawled up the North Carolina coast, some areas of the Triangle suffered significant damage. Thousands across the area were without electricity. Trees fell on power lines, into houses and onto roadways. Waterways overflowed.

There’s no way crews can have all of that cleaned up by the time people start venturing out for groceries this week and commuters begin heading back to work.

“I knew I’d made a terrible mistake.” One motorist’s story about driving through a storm.

Gov. Roy Cooper has issued “an urgent travel warning” to residents of North Carolina - and visitors. “Stay off the roads in most parts of the state of North Carolina,” Cooper said at a weekend press conference. “All roads in the state right now are at risk for floods. As rivers keep rising and rain keeps falling, the flooding will spread.”

A few major roads across the Triangle were closed this weekend because of fallen trees, according to ABC11 morning traffic reporter Kim Deaner, but could be open by Monday when people start to venture out.

While the goal is to have more roads opened on Monday morning, “People are going to have to watch out for side roads that still have trees down,” Deaner said.

Deaner emphasized that commuters from Johnston and southern Wake County should check their routes to work before heading out on Monday.

“I think the biggest problems will be Harnett County coming into Raleigh,” Deaner said. “Right now all the roads that have issues in Johnston aren’t the main thoroughfares for people trying to make their way to Raleigh for work. They are going to be the ones to check and make sure their route to work isn’t blocked. Trying to get into Wake County is going to be harder than trying to navigate around Wake County.”

So how do you check your usual routes - and alternates- before you head out? Here are some tips and tools that can help.

Waze: Download the mobile app provides turn-by-turn navigation and updated traffic reports. The app will automatically redirect drivers from any roads that are closed.

NCDOT: The North Carolina Department of Transportation website’s travel information page post closings of all major highways as well as a list of roads affected by the storm.

Twitter: WTVD ABC11 morning traffic reporter Kim Deaner will post updates of road closings and conditions on her twitter account, @kimdeanerabc11. The NCDOT also will use Twitter, @NCDOT_Triangle, to update followers on which roads to avoid during the morning commute.

Use 5-1-1 from your mobile device. Calling 5-1-1 will give you updates on travel conditions. From your computer, search “5-1-1 online updates for Raleigh.”

Truckmiles.com. This site, a favorite of truck drivers, but is available to check road conditions and routes.

Raleigh street closures: Go to http://bit.ly/RaleighMap for street closures due to debris.

DriveNC.gov before heading out.

Fiman.nc.gov can help you navigate around flooded areas.

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