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DAVID ADLERSTEIN | The Times
A downed birdhouse, and a bird, at Bayshore Travel Park in Eastpoint

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BREAKING: More flooding closes more roads

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE, AS OF 8:30 A.M. TUESDAY

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is providing an update on road and bridge closures and restrictions in Northwest Florida due to Tropical Storm Debby. All rail, airport, transit and seaport facilities are functioning as normal.

 Franklin County

 The St. George Island Bridge/State Road (S.R.) 300 is closed from Eastpoint to St. George Island due to the evacuation of St. George IslanD

County Road (C.R.) 67 is closed at the Pine Log Creek (Crooked River) Bridge due to flooding.

S.R. 65 is restricted at the Fort Gadsden Bridge due to water on the roadway.

 Lake Morality Road from C.R. 67 to U.S. 98 is closed.

C.R. 67 from U.S. 98 to the Wakulla County line is closed.

 

Liberty County

S.R. 67 from Telogia to Carrabelle is closed due to water on the road way.

 

Leon County

C.R. 155 (Meridian Road) restricted at the Thomas Circle intersection in Tallahassee due to flooding issues.

 

Wakulla County

  • C.R. 375/Smith Creek Road is closed at Syfrett Creek Bridge due to water on the roadway.
  • Northbound U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at the Sopchoppy River Bridge is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • S.R. 30/U.S. 98 at C.R. 375 in Panacea is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • Southbound S.R. 377 at U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at Allen Green Road has been closed by the Florida Highway Patrol.
  • U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at Buckhorn Creek is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at Robbers Roost Road is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at Harvey Mill/Lawhon Mill Road intersection is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • U.S. 319/S.R. 375/Sopchoppy Highway at Summer Brooke Lane is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • S.R. 30/U.S. 98 at Jer-be-lou Boulevard intersection is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • S.R. 30/U.S. 98 from Wakulla River to Shell Point is restricted due to water on the roadway.
  • Curtis Mills Road at Sanders Cemetery from C.R. 22 to C.R. 375 is closed.
  • C.R. 373/Spring Hill Road at S.R. 267/Bloxham Cutoff Road is closed.
  • Spring Creek Road is closed.
  • Otter Lake Road is closed.
  • Summer Street in Sopchoppy is closed.
  • Levy Bay Road from intersection to hotel is closed.
  • S.R. 363/Woodville Highway at Cherry Lane is restricted due to water on the roadway.

 Motorists are reminded to be watchful of other drivers and road conditions and to be on the lookout for flooded roads. If the road ahead is flooded, turn around and find an alternate route. Flooded roads may hide the fact that the roadway is washed out underneath and as little as six inches of rushing water can force your car off the road.

For the latest closures and updates from the Florida Department of Transportation District Three follow us on twitter at @myfdot_nwfl.

 

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee has issued a flash flood emergency for northeastern Franklin County, southeastern Liberty County and Wakulla County. The emergency lasts until 11:15 p.m. tonight

Locations include Crawfordville, Sopchoppy and Sanborn.

“This is an extremely dangerous situation,” said the weather service. "Do not drive into areas where water covers the road. Turn around; don’t drown.”

Area gauges have reported 10 to 12 inches of rain across the region since early Sunday. Additional rainfall amounts of 4 to 6 inches are possible in the warned areas.

Steve Fling, chief of the Alligator Point volunteer fire department, said a low-lying section of Alligator Drive has been underwater since early Sunday evening. “We’ve got some minor coastal flooding in some low-lying areas,” he said.

He said the road in front of the old KOA campground has been under water since yesterday as well.

“The road on the east side of it, that connects with Tom Roberts Road where you make the bypass through campground, that’s intact,” he said. “The east section of that approach, before you make a right, the outside lane is eroded in a couple places but it’s still passable. But you can divert down Harbor Circle; the bypass road is intact.”

Fling said two houses on Bald Point have had exterior siding blown off. Also, a section of screened porch on a Bald Point location blew off and took with it a partial section of the roof.

“Some docks have washed away,” he said.

“We are still under a mandatory evacuation. I’d say two-thirds of the folks left by today,” Fling said. “We had power outages yesterday from noon to 5 p.m. but we’ve had power since then, and we have water, although we are under a boil water notice.”

*

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE:

This is the most recent update from Mr. Robert Pickles, the Community Relations Manager, for Progress Energy for this area.

There are three damaged transmission structures down in St. George Sound. Because of this, there is no electric power to St. George Island. We have to wait until the weather subsides to assess the extent of the damage. At this point, we do not have an estimated time of restoration and will not have one until we are able to get onto the island.

The Eastpoint to St. George Island Tap transmission project is scheduled to be completed July 9 – with a switchover of power starting at midnight, and lasting approximately eight hours. We are accelerating the project and will complete the switch over to the new equipment as soon as possible. Because of the planned new work, we will not repair the damaged structures.

Once we get onto the island, it will still take several days to conduct damage assessment and complete the switch over to the new equipment. Any customers that have not evacuated will need to be prepared for multiple days without electricity.

*

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE

Emergency Management Director Pam Brownell said that the bridge to St. George Island and the road to Alligator Point are now open to residents with a reentry pass or valid identification showing the holder to be a resident.

She said visitors who were evacuated can also gain access to these areas to retrieve their possessions but a strict 8 p.m. curfew is in place for both areas.

As of her most recent briefing, Brownell said the storm is not expected to make landfall before Friday and there is some indication that it will turn to the Northeast heading towards Taylor and Dixie Counties.

The predicted storm surge at high tide is 2 to 3 feet.

“That’s down from earlier predictions, which is good news for us,” said Brownell.

According to the National Weather Service, Apalachicola has received 3.8 inches of rain so far today and 4.5 inches fell yesterday for a total of over eight inches in less than 48 hours.

*

Tropical Storm Debby has not been treating Franklin County like the girl next door, but more like a wicked witch from the west.

At 4 p.m. Sunday, after winds subsided from their earlier 60 mph highs, county officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of Alligator Point, St. George Island and low-lying areas of the county.

Tom Durham, public information officer for Franklin County Emergency Management. said law enforcement people are convoying people off the island. The seven-mile long Bryant Patton Bridge that spans Eastpoint and St. George Island remains closed since before 11 a.m. this morning. The Florida Highway Patrol estimated the Bryant Patton bridge would reopen between 3 and 6 a.m. Monday.

“They’re equating it to a (Hurricane) Dennis event, which is a water event,” said Durham.

With sustained winds of 35 to 35 miles per hour, and gusts as high as 60 mph, Durham said the storm dislodged a Progress Energy barge early this morning and smashed it into the fishing pier off St. George Island. No one is believed injured in the incident. The unmoored barge is floating in Apalachicola Bay.

“It did not appear the barge damaged the new bridge," said Durham.

County law enforcement officials ordered the bridge closed this morning, after county commissioners declared a local state of emergency at 8:15 a.m.

Early this afternoon, law enforcement ordered the John Gorrie Bridge, which spans Apalachicola to Eastpoint, also closed, but it reopened a few hours later. 

About 2,011 customers on St. George Island have been without power since 7:42 a.m. Progress Energy officials said power will be out indefinitely because workers have to upgrade three transmission lines.

The lines were scheduled to be upgraded on July 9 but the upgrade will be done ahead of schedule, said Scott Sutton, a spokesman for Progress Energy. He said more would be known after engineers evaluate the situation in the light of day.

In addition, there have been scattered outages throughout the county.

“They’re at the mercy of the weather,” said Durham. “It’s just too mean to have anyone out there now.”

The National Weather Service has estimated Franklin County could see as much as a foot of rain through Monday evening.

In Alligator Point, a voluntary evacuation order was issued this morning, prior to the mandatory one this afternoon. The road out to the end of the point has been closed between Tom Roberts Road and Harbor Circle.

Scattered road closures also have occurred through Eastpoint along U.S. 98, where the coastline is being battered by storm surges as high as 5 to 7 feet.

High tide in Franklin County occurs between 5 and 7 p.m. this evening.

Durham said law enforcement officials are urging motorists not to travel Franklin County roads today unless absolutely necessary.

Sandbags are available at the county road department off Hwy 65 Eastpoint, at the former Carrabelle High School football field house, at the old state yard on Bluff Road in Apalachicola, and in Lanark Village in the rear of the firehouse.

 


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