Irene closes hundreds of roads in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Crews are out across eastern North Carolina, trying to open roads damaged or blocked by debris from Hurricane Irene.

Officials said Sunday that 21 bridges and more than 200 roads were closed across the state. The impassible roads included major routes like U.S. Highways 17, 13 and 70.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Greer Beaty says 1,800 workers have responded to the damage from Irene. Special contractors are being brought in to do some specialized work, like restoring traffic lights.

State Highway 12 along the southern Outer Banks was breached in several places by the storm, isolating Hatteras Island from the mainland. Officials do not know when the road can be fixed.

NC governor visiting Irene-damaged areas

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Hurricane Irene has cleared North Carolina, and the governor is heading out to visit some of the areas where the storm inflicted the most damage.

Gov. Beverly Perdue will first stop in Trenton in Jones County, then head to New Bern in Craven County, which is her home. She'll then visit the Beaufort and Morehead City areas of Carteret County before landing in Dare County.

Irene made its first landfall about 7:30 a.m. Saturday near Cape Lookout, killing at least two people in the state. No damage estimates are available yet.

More than 560,000 customers are without power Sunday in North Carolina.

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