Many NC road problems still linger from Hurricane Matthew

One of the 16 roads still closed in Johnston County. Photo by Amy Cutler/CBS North Carolina

FOUR OAKS, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 150 roads in North Carolina are closed or still need work after they were damaged during Hurricane Matthew, officials say.

That includes more than a dozen in Johnston County.

On Tuesday, Lori Littleton explained her growing frustration with the road closure near her home in Four Oaks.

“As far as trying to get to town its a whole lot slower. Just to go to Walmart because we have to go all the way back around through town. Well now they’ve closed that off because of paving issues,” Littleton said.

Then there’s Littleton’s neighbor — Glenn Lee.

He owns Lee’s Signs, which is also on Thunder Road. He says business is down more than 35 percent since the road closed almost two months ago.

“My walk-in (traffic) has just about come to a standstill. It’s a good thing I’ve been in business a long time. So I have good customer base,” Lee said.

Hurricane Matthew didn’t just wash out the roads, it damaged the pipes underneath them.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it doesn’t have an inventory of these pipes. Pipe supply is low, while demand is high — and it will to take some time to get new pipes.

The NC DOT says some roads damaged by Matthew might not reopen until early 2017.

In the Triangle region, the N.C. DOT says that in addition to the 16 roads closed in Johnston County, there are 15 in Cumberland, 13 in Harnett and 11 in Wayne.

But, in Wake County there are four and just one in Durham County.

Officials say the problems are all on secondary roads, but that’s little solace to the folks who have deal with them on a daily basis.

“I’m in the city limits so they ought to help the businesses. I mean we pay our taxes,” Lee said.

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