2 open routes to Wilmington, but official ask to save them for relief efforts

View of I-40 at Exit 387 on September 18, 2018. (Photo: Mike Cooke)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County officials held a news conference Tuesday to release more information on storm recovery.

During it, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo shared two open routes in Wilmington.

- Advertisement -

As of noon Tuesday, Highway Patrol had cleared those routes for drivers. One option is I-40E to exit 373/NC 903 to west US 421. Another option is I-40E to exit 385, then NC 41 West to 421 South to Wilmington.

“They were driven today and they told me it was okay to share those routes with you,” Saffo said. “That’s not to say they may not close base on what the flooding situation may be, but those are the two routes currently that we know of that are open.”

Strict curfew remains in effect for New Hanover County from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Since September 12, there have been 11 arrests related to break-ins, curfew and looting.

Officials still encourage you not come to the area. If you do, expect flooding, power outages, and limited resources like food and gas. According to state leaders, unless there is a public safety reason to return to eastern North Carolina, officials encourage folks to stay off main roadways that currently have limited capacity so public safety personnel and resources can get to the areas they need.

As of 11 a.m., more than 60,000 homes were still without power.

“We are asking folks to not come home,” New Hanover County Chairman Woody White said. “We want you here. We love you. We miss you but access to Wilmington is still very limited and is not improving as quickly as we like. Roads throughout our county and especially the surrounding areas and leading into our county are still unsafe for travel.”

The area has been officially determined disastrous so FEMA resources are available.

The county hopes to open normal business hours by Monday.

You can watch the entire update in the video below.