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Hurricane Florence Hammers N.C. Roads, Quarries


North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) engineers have started to assess Hurricane Florence-affected roads so necessary repairs can be made in the hard-hit areas in eastern North Carolina, according to reports from NewsChannel 12.

State transportation engineers are assessing sections of 72 primary and secondary roads damaged in NCDOT’s Division 2, which includes Beaufort, Carteret, Pitt, Craven, Greene, Pamlico, Jones and Lenoir counties.

Many roads are still flooded in areas, while others are blocked by debris from when Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach on Sept. 14 before making its slow, rain-drenched trek across North Carolina.

But those roads will not get repaired without aggregates.

"Hanson’s Morehead City Sales Yard is closed indefinitely. Their Harnett County quarry reopened on Wednesday," noted Jasper (Jay) G. Stem Jr. P.E., executive director of the North Carolina Aggregates Association. "American Materials (Summit) – planned to have three of their four pits operating by Wednesday.  Their pits are in the flooded areas."

A Martin Marietta spokesperson told Rock Products that two of the company's quarries – in New Bern and Wilmington – suffered flooding from storm surge and will not be producing product for several months. One of those sites is still shipping stone.

"We have 16 quarries and rail yards from Chapel Hill in central North Carolina to the coast and almost all of them are producing stone and shipping," the spokesperson said. "It is critically important to have them up and running, as the stone is badly needed for road repairs."  

The company commended its employees for going above and beyond the call of duty to make sure quarry sites were operational, despite difficulties for some in getting to work. "Our employees also helped out in their local communities, donating time and when possible, will use company equipment to move debris," the company spokesperson said.

Martin Marietta is also sponsoring a food drive, supply drive and a hurricane relief fund.

Manufacturers were also impacted by the storm. According to a statement from Caterpillar, while its manufacturing facilities in and around North Carolina did not sustain any major damage from the storm, disruptions occurred due mostly to travel-related restrictions from flooding.

“Essentially, they are all back up and running but we do expect some modifications to people’s schedules,” the company said. “The flooding is making travel difficult.”