NCDOT Division 8 clearing Chatham and Randolph roads of fallen trees

Pittsboro, NC – About 90 roads are impassable in Randolph and Chatham counties due to downed trees and power lines from Tropical Storm Michael.

Maintenance crews for the N.C. Department of Transportation are cutting up trees and shoving them off the shoulder to reopen roads where possible. But in many cases, they must wait for utility companies to arrive first and shut down power lines tangled in the debris.

“We are clearing what we can today, but because of the power lines that went down with the trees, we’ll need to work through this weekend to reopen most of the roads,” said Chuck Dumas, the NCDOT’s Division 8 maintenance engineer.

In addition to Randolph and Chatham counties, NCDOT’s Division 8 also includes Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties.

Michael blew through North Carolina on Thursday with heavy rains and dangerous wind gusts. It left behind about 350 impassable roads across the state this morning.

In Division 8, these four primary routes are closed: U.S. 220 in Randolph County; U.S. 220 Alternate in Montgomery County; and N.C. 902 and N.C. 42 in Chatham County.

The division is relying on more than 200 employees and five contractors, who are using chain saws, dump trucks, backhoes and other equipment to remove debris from roads.

Randolph had 49 secondary roads closed this morning due to downed trees, followed by Chatham County with 40 secondary routes. Lee, Moore and Hoke counties had no road closures this morning following the storm. Here is a look at the other divisional counties:

  • Scotland: five road closures
• Montgomery: three road closures
• Richmond: one road closure

To speed up the road clearing, NCDOT staff in Division 8 are reassigning crews from counties without road closures to the harder-hit areas.

There are 14 other roads in the division that remain impassable in the wake of Hurricane Florence last month, down from nearly 200 after the Florence slogged through North Carolina in mid-September. The department is repairing washouts and replacing culverts to reopen those roads, too.

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