The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Guilford County Division is sending employees to some of the hardest hit areas in the aftermath of Florence.

The team of 22 DOT workers left the Triad for Greenville, North Carolina to help with relief efforts, equipped with backhoes, excavators, tandem trucks and support vehicles.

They'll focus on repairing pipelines, roadway washouts, and tree removal, and eventually move on to other coastal areas. Division Engineer Mike Mills says, with major roadways flooded, it won't be easy.

“We may have to mobilize across the Carolina Beach, Kure Beach area,” says Mills. “We may need to travel by ferry across South Port-Fort Fischer Ferry to come in that way. We don't know. It's a pretty big disaster and it's going to take a long time to get back to where we were.”

Once the crews arrive, there are other major concerns, beginning with Mother Nature.

“Of course, it's always humid down there, so we've got to worry about people staying hydrated,” says Mills. “We've sent crews in the past down east and there's a lot of safety issues involving moving equipment and putting in pipe—overhead hazards and all that stuff. But you know there are lots of snakes down there too. The ditches are flooded, and the next thing you know, you're putting in a pipe and there's a snake crawling across your foot.”

Mills says in terms of flooding compared with other parts of the state, it appears that the Triad area was pretty lucky. Guilford County maxed out on Sunday with nearly 20 roads flooded at one time. But Mills says in all but two of those instances, the water has since receded.





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