Rising river could close I-75 in Florida, complicate evacuees' return home

Rising river could close I-75 in Florida, complicate evacuees' return home

Rising river could close I-75 in Florida, complicate evacuees' return home

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) says the Santa Fe River under I-75 has rapidly rise 15 feet within the last 36 hours.

Officials say, if the river rises to an unsafe level, bridges will be impassable for both northbound and southbound lanes of I-75 and the interstate would be closed immediately. That flooding "could potentially force Interstate 75 to completely shut down south of Interstate 10 and north of Alachua in north-central Florida", the Times explains.

Flooding could also force closures of bridges on USA 27, US 41, State Road 47 and US 121, FDOT said.

Tampa mayor: 'We're about to get punched in the face'
Irma made landfall on the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, but the full extent of the damage there is still unknown. Miami International Airport has announced it will be closed Monday and begin only limited flights on Tuesday.

The department advises evacuees returning to the state to monitor the FDOT 511 page as the travel through the area.

As of Wednesday morning, the river was safe, but it is expected to crest at historic and unprecedented levels in the coming days as water levels from upstream move southward down the river, according to FDOT.

FHP has published the above detour map in the event that I-75 closes. They should also remove items of value, including trailers and other heavy items because they could be swept away. The river usually comes up to rear tree at left, Michael David said, but it is now overtaking the couple's backyard amid rising waters from Irma.

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