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Stir Crazy Or Not, Officials Urge People To Stay Off Roads As Death Risk Rises

Vince Winkel
Roads around the region are dangerous. Officials are urging people to stay inside.

The temptation to venture out and drive around is going to be strong today.  But officials say the risk of injury or death is rising.

Roads around the region are covered with debris – with large tree limbs, even large trees – and potentially dangerous power lines.  Steven Still is New Hanover County’s Director of Emergency Management and 911.  He says it’s the indirect impacts from hurricanes and tropical storms that are killing more people. 

Some of those causes:

"Number one: coming out on the roads and driving around when it’s not safe to do so, when they haven’t completely read the instructions on their generator, they don’t understand about transferring power loads, they don’t understand about carbon monoxide. 

"They’re on their roofs trying to clear trees with chain saws.  There’s a lot of opportunity for injury over the next couple of days and our ability to respond is limited."

At least five deaths are reported in the state as a result of the storm.  And Still says the forecast includes 14 more inches of rain which means the flooding has begun.

"If you get injured, we’re going to have difficulty getting to you at this point."

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.