Florida DOT Reopens Major Highways After Hurricane Idalia

Sept. 1, 2023
Reopenings began late Wednesday after Idalia made landfall earlier that day.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has reopened the majority of state-owned roads and bridges as of yesterday following Hurricane Idalia.

The reopenings include Interstate 10 in Madison County, and State Road 24, leading to Cedar Key.

Idalia made landfall Wednesday in the Keaton Beach area of rural Taylor County before moving through other sparsely populated areas of North Florida. After moving through North Florida, Idalia went into Georgia and South Carolina.

A roughly 10 mile stretch of I-10 in Madison County was littered with debris and an estimated 10,000 downed trees of varying sizes, FDOT said in a press release. The bridge to Cedar Key on state road 24 was completely submerged following Idalia’s landfall.

"FDOT deployed 27 four-person crews once the winds subsided to cut and toss and remove debris from the travel lanes," the agency said in a statement sent to FOX 35 News.

The teams were able to clear all travel lanes and reopen I-10 by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, FDOT said, within 12 hours of beginning operations. All state-owned bridges have been inspected and cleared for travel.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden approved a federal disaster declaration to help state and local recovery efforts after Category 3 Hurricane Idalia slammed into North Florida’s Big Bend region.

The disaster declaration will make federal funding available for people affected by the storm in Citrus, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Taylor counties.

Money will therefore be available to help with debris removal and emergency-protective measures in the designated counties. The federal government will pick up 100 percent of such costs for a 30-day period "of the state's choosing," the White House said in a statement.


Source: Fox 35 Orlando