North Carolina Officials Urge Drivers Not to Trust GPS Apps Because of Florence

Even with Hurricane Florence downgraded to a tropical storm, the danger is still not over for people in the Carolinas, U.S. Many cities have already received considerable quantities of rain water, and floods are expected to close more roads in the following days.
Many roads in North Carolina remain flooded / closed, which makes GPS apps not reliable 11 photos
Photo: Victor J. Blue / The New York Times
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Authorities in North Carolina are urging people to stay safe until the storm passes and the waters recede. That includes staying off the road and, if traveling is necessary, not relying on GPS apps to make their way around the state.

GPS apps are not updated to include closed roads, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) says in a statement on its official page. Drivers should not trust them with their lives during this time.

“NCDOT, the N.C. State Highway Patrol and emergency management agencies strongly advise motorists to stay off the roads and out of vehicles. Do not put your life, or the life of others, in danger by choosing to drive,” the statement stresses.

“Although the storm has passed in some areas, travel conditions across the state are deteriorating as flood waters continue to rise and trees fall because of saturated grounds. Additionally, GPS navigation companies are not keeping up with all the road closures and are directing people onto roads that are confirmed closed and flooded,” the NCDOT adds.

The body has also been very active on Twitter in the past days, in order to send the same message. To a follower who said Waze helped her make her way home after 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, the NCDOT says Florence is worse than most its predecessors. Relying on GPS apps for directions at this time is simply unwise and very dangerous.

After Florence hit mainland in North and South Carolina, Google said it was speeding up updates on Google Maps and Waze, using both algorithms and data collected from authorities on the ground. Here Technologies also said it would do its best to update the maps with closed roads.

For the time being, though, the most reliable source on weather conditions and closed / flooded roads remains the NCDOT.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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