TAMPA (FOX 13) - While authorities determine whether Interstate 75 - the main roadway traveled by evacuees from and to their homes during Hurricane Irma - will be closed in part of north Florida due to flooding, another roadway is being closed for the same reason.
US Highway 27 has now closed due to unprecedented flooding from the Santa Fe River, along with
U.S. Highway 41 in the area of the Santa Fe River, also due to heavy flooding. Other bridges over the river will continue to be monitored as the situation develops.
Evacuees, meanwhile, have been slowly returning to their Florida homes since Hurricane Irma left for good. The main vein of travel through Florida’s spine is Interstate 75. However, the travel time might increase.
The Santa Fe River, under I-75, has rapidly risen 15 feet in the past 36 hours due to heavy rainfall over North Florida following Irma, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The agency is monitoring, and it’s possible a portion of I-75 from south of Interstate 10 and north of Alachua County can completely shut down. If the river rises to an unsafe level, the bridge will be impassable in both directions and would be closed immediately.
The Florida Department of Transportation says it is actively working with WAZE, Google Maps, the Georgia Department of Transportation and other transportation industry partners to communicate the potential reroutes to the public. Floridians should consult www.FL511.com for up-to-date information on road closures and travel routes.
In the event that I-75 closes, drivers can either take U.S. Highway 19 heading toward Ocala and Gainesville, or Interstate 95 along the east coast of Florida.
Additional bridges may be impacted, including U.S. Highway 47, State Road 47 and possibly U.S. Highway 121. Detours for these potential closures are forthcoming.
As of 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, I-75 remained open.