As Irma Evacuees Return, Stretch of I-75 Could Close

Drivers who are trying to work their way back into South Florida after fleeing Hurricane Irma are facing some clogged roadways and now may have to deal with a section of Interstate 75 closing.

A bridge on I-75 that crosses the Sante Fe River on the northern border of Alachua County in north-central Florida could become impassable if the river continues to rise, Florida Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday.

The river has rapidly risen 15 feet within the past 36 hours due to the heavy rainfall over North Florida from Hurricane Irma, officials said. An additional rise is expected within the coming days as water levels from upstream move southward down the river.

The river level is currently safe at 55 feet but if it rises to an unsafe level it would be shut down in both directions, officials said.

In the event of road flooding on I-75 at the Sante Fe River, FDOT will reroute traffic to U.S. 19, U.S. 301 and I-95. FDOT officials are working with WAZE, Google Maps, the Georgia Department of Transportation and other transportation industry partners to communicate the potential reroutes to the public.

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