• Downpours from Michael to make mess of many roads still impacted by Florence

    By: Liz Foster , Briana Harper


    RICHMOND COUNTY, N.C. - Hurricane Michael is forecast to dump more rain across the Carolinas.

    On Thursday morning, people will be making a morning drive to work along I-77.

    Construction equipment and some detours are part of the toll road project.

    However, when you combine heavy downpours from Michael, it will complicate Thursday morning’s commute.

    To prepare for potential flooding Cintra, the company building the toll road project, said crews are inspecting drains along I-77, cleaning drainage inlets as well as securing and removing any equipment that could be a wind hazard.

    Drivers told Channel 9 they have their own plans for taking on the tropical storm conditions.

    "I'm prepared for it, just take it slow and go to work, be safe,” driver Tony Williams said.

    "I'm expecting I-77 to be a swamp because the construction has destroyed it,” driver Trisha Moss said.

    Many of the areas are still feeling the lingering effects of Hurricane Florence. 

    More rain is the last thing many local areas need since many roads are still closed as a result of flooding caused by Florence.

    Macedonia Church Road in Monroe has been closed for nearly four weeks since Florence dumped almost a foot of rain, washing away part of the road.

    Several roads in Rockingham are also still shut down nearly a month after Florence slammed the state. 

    Crews have equipment, and they have been able to get some work done, but it may be another month before the Department of Transportation reopens the roads.

    Channel 9 meteorologists are forecasting up to 5 inches of rain on Thursday, with the biggest concern being flash flooding.

    The Richmond County Emergency Services Manager said he opened the emergency operations center Wednesday and is coordinating with all first responders.

    [UPDATES: Hurricane Michael to make biggest impact in Charlotte during morning commute]

    In Union County, one of the biggest measures officials are taking in advance after learning from Florence is having barricades staged around the county near flood-prone areas.

    "We've divided the county into zones, with personnel assigned to particular zones to respond to areas we know are now flooded or potentially a tree across the roadway, power lines, things like that,” said Tony Underwood, with the Union County Sheriff’s Department.

    [CLICK for a running list of closings because of Michael]

    Flooded roads tied to Florence’s impacts were blamed for two deaths in Union County. Officials said it’s important that people don't move or drive around barricades.

    More Hurricane Content:

    The Union County Sheriff's Office said it will constantly update road closures on their Facebook page.

    >> CLICK HERE to stay on top of Hurricane Michael and the storm’s impact on the Carolinas

    Watch the video above to hear about the effort crews are making to repair roads and how the county's emergency staff plans to prepare for Hurricane Michael.

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