Hurricane Hermine swept through North Carolina late Friday and early Saturday with light damage.
Bridges were closed in the Outer Banks as the storm’s center moved out of the state, over the Atlantic Ocean.
Two vehicle collisions in Dare County, one of them fatal, prompted authorities to close the U.S. 64 bridge over the Alligator River and Virginia Dare Bridge. The span was closed for hours as crews working to clear the bridge were hampered by harsh weather conditions, Dare county officials said.
The nearly 3-mile long bridge is the main link between the North Carolina mainland and the Outer Banks.
County officials urged motorists to stay off roads because of high winds, and a tornado reportedly injured four people.
Several roads were closed due to flooding, including N.C. 53 near Jacksonville, N.C. 210 at Topsail Beach near Casha Road and N.C. 133 in Boiling Spring Lakes near Funston Road. Hermine also sent water over N.C. 12, the only road connecting Hatteras Island to mainland North Carolina.
One death was attributed to Hurricane Hermine’s high winds in eastern North Carolina on Saturday. Authorities said the winds caused an 18-wheeler truck to crash on a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, killing the driver.
“The fact that it was spread out over a long time was our saving grace and why we didn’t get much flooding,” Raleigh National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Moneypenny stated.
The towns between Raleigh and Goldsboro received 1 to 4 inches of rain. Hermine’s wind strength stayed around 35 mph, with the exception of a few 45 mph gusts. Many experienced power outages, with Duke Energy restoring power to all but 106 of the 1,200 Wake County households that lost power overnight.
Forecasters expected Hermine to regain hurricane force Sunday as it traveled up the coast, before weakening again to a tropical storm by Tuesday. Tropical storm warnings were in effect as far north as Connecticut, and beaches were closed as far north as New York.
Total damage costs are expected to approach $1 billion, according to Karen Clark & Company.
NC Governor Pat McCrory commended residents for staying off the roads Friday night, as the number of crashes reported to the Highway Patrol was about half of the number the agency typically responds to on a Friday night.
As Hurricane Hermine’s bands moved out of the state on Saturday, McCrory urged drivers to be careful on the roads- especially those driving on the coast.
“Since the biggest result has been flooding,” McCrory said in a statement, “if you come across flooded roads, turn around; it’s not worth risking your safety.”