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

11Alive was on the roads as the exodus began.

A small bridge on I-75 could have a huge impact on Florida evacuees desperately trying to go home.

The Florida Department of Transportation contacted 11Alive News early Wednesday warning that a small bridge near Mile Marker 408 in Florida may have to be closed due to rising waters.

The bridge crosses the Sante Fe River on the northern border of Alachua County and soon become an issue.

"The river is expected to crest at historic and unprecedented levels presenting a potential threat to the safety of travel on this bridge," the department said in a statement.

The river is currently at 55 feet but if it were to rise to an unsafe level, officials say it would be closed immediately for both northbound and southbound traffic south of I-10 and north of U.S. 441.

That would be bad news for Florida residents trying to head back to the Sunshine State since it's one of the primary north-south corridors in the Georgia.

The good news is that I-75 is still passable so far (as of 1:15 a.m.) but Florida transportation officials are urging those traveling south to consider alternate routes.

Still, for Floridians stuck in Atlanta, it will mean they will need to go out of their way to make the trip home. Florida DOT officials will plan to reroute traffic to U.S. 19, U.S. 301 and I-95. The latter of these is a recommended route for traveling to central of southern Florida.

They also warn that river overflow could also impact traffic on U.S. 27, U.S 41,  (Florida) State Route 47 and possibly U.S. 121.

For those heading back into Florida, officials recommend monitoring the WAZE App, Google Maps and their own mapping systems at FL511.com.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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