ANSON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - It was a long weekend at Anson County Emergency Management, as officials watched flood waters rise, and kept tabs on more than 90 road closures throughout the county.
The Department of Transportation’s closure list indicated some progress Tuesday, though, as the updated numbers showed the count is down to about 60 roads still blocked by debris, or completely washed out in Anson.
“Our biggest concern now is trying to figure out where the road is washed out, where residents are trapped and can’t get out either way. We’re trying to figure those areas out now,” said Rodney Diggs with Anson County’s Emergency Management Dept. That’s the case in Lilesville, on Power Plant Road, one of the dozens of impassable spots where residents came to peek at the mess Florence left behind. An 8-foot-wide hole, surrounded by a wave of logs, branches and mud, sits behind an orange and white barricade.
The large portable gate is just like the barricades placed at every closure in the county, doing their best to keep drivers out of danger, but still some residents disrespect signage and risk getting injured, or in the more tragic cases, killed. One heartbreaking case out of Union County, in which a toddler lost his life after he was swept away by flood waters over the weekend, seemed to strike a chord with Rodney Diggs during his interview with WBTV on Tuesday.
When asked what he wants his Anson County residents to know, Diggs started to tear up, and simply replied, “don’t drive around barricades.” According to Governor Roy Cooper, Florence has now claimed 26 lives in all. Cooper released the updated death toll during a press conference on Tuesday, driving home the same message as Diggs, “I can’t stress enough: Never drive through floodwaters. Don’t drive around barricades,” Cooper said. “Roads remain dangerous, and new road closings are still happening.”
NCDOT is working diligently to repair roads throughout the state, but with more than 1,100 roads still closed across the state as of Tuesday, transportation officials are asking for patience.
You can find the most up-to-date closure information for Anson County here: https://tims.ncdot.gov/TIMS/RegionSummary.aspx?co=4
Statewide closure information can be found here: https://tims.ncdot.gov/TIMS/default.aspx