Road Weather Management Program
photos of lightning, trucks plowing snow, an empty road before a storm, and an evacuation
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An image of a flooded road.

Hurricanes and tropical storms bring heavy rain and high winds to coastal areas, and often cause inland flooding. Hurricane evacuation activities can have significant impacts on traffic. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, roughly three million people were evacuated from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; resulting in record congestion problems. In Georgia, travel time from Savannah to Interstate 95, which normally averages 30 minutes, reached three hours. In North Carolina, the average vehicle speed on Interstate 40 was 20 mph, with a maximum safe speed of 30 mph. The trip from Wilmington to Interstate 95 took up to five hours. Normal travel time is about two hours. In South Carolina, travel time on Interstate 26 between Charleston and Columbia, which typically takes about three hours, averaged 16 hours. Nearly 60 percent of Floyd-related deaths were associated with drowning (i.e., flooding) and vehicles. (Source: PBS&J, Southeast United States Hurricane Study)


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