Hurricane Florence Hits North Carolina Hard

Hurricane Florence, meetings
At its peak, Hurricane Florence was kicking up 83-ft waves off the coast of North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina last Friday near Wrightsville Beach, slamming the Wilmington area with what Governor Roy Cooper called a “gut punch” and taking 32 lives.

Hurricane Florence cut off Wilmington’s 120,000 residents from the rest of North Carolina and flooding has crippled inland cities such as Durham due to overflowing rivers and rainfall. “Our people are still reeling,” Governor Roy said during a press conference today, warning that dangerously high water will most likely remain for several days.

But despite severe flooding and road closures, there are several areas of the state that are already back in business, including the Outer Banks’ Currituck and Dare Counties.

The capital city of Raleigh and its surrounding Wake County were largely unaffected. The Raleigh-Durham International Airport is open with on-time arrivals and departures and most of the major roads within the Raleigh area are safe to drive on. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh reopened on Monday.

Asheville is also reporting little damage from Florence. The Biltmore Estate, famous for being the largest private home in the United States, has reopened there, along with all of the lodging options within the estate. Most sections of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway remain closed.

Overall, much of the state has been hit with severe flooding and conditions that has closed down major routes, making group movements impossible. Several major North Carolina roads remain closed, including I-40, I-95, U.S. 70, U.S. 17 and U.S. 421; visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation web site for the latest on road closures. Visit NC, the state’s official tourism authority, has created a web site with regularly updated information about conditions throughout the state and also recommends  downloading the Ready NC App.

This story originally appeared on recommend.com, and was written by Jessica Poitevien.   

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Barbara Scofidio
Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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