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Sunshine Skyway Bridge reopened after record closed time

Sunshine Skyway Bridge St Petersburg

Photo courtesy of City of St Petersburg


The Sunshine Skyway Bridge reopened at 3 a.m. today after being closed since Sunday at 4 p.m. This is a record length of time for the bridge to be closed – the prior record was approximately 8 hours during Tropical Storm Gabrielle in 2001. Two work days without the bridge is a major inconvenience for commuters, turning a 30 minute commute into one 3 times that long. Over 50,000 vehicles cross the Skyway daily. High winds were the reason for the closure, resulting from Tropical Storm Debby.

The Howard Frankland Bridge (I-275) and the Courtney¬†Campbell ¬†also had partial or full closures. Reminder: if there’s a hurricane warning and if you’re going to evacuate – do it early, before most of the evacuation routes are closed due to bridge closures!





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Tropical storm Debbie rains on St Petersburg

Yesterday was a stay-in day for most of us in St Petersburg as tropical storm Debbie, stalled in the Gulf of Mexico a hundred or so miles away, caused torrential rains much of the day. 45 mph winds closed the Skyway Bridge and some roads in both Pinellas County and south Tampa were closed due to flooding. Canoes and kayaks became the preferred method of transportation down the streets in some neighborhoods. Pinellas Park had over 12 inches of rain yesterday. Flooded streets were in the usual locations: Shore Acres, Snell Isle and south Tampa but photos of Largo and Tarpon Springs showed even deeper water at some locations. The beach in Gulfport “disappeared” as the waters went into Gulfport some five blocks.

A tornado or water spout hit Pass-a-Grille damaging the marina and some homes. Downed trees caused damage in other neighborhoods.

Today the skies are lighter, though there are intermittent rains. News reports say the storm is still affecting us, but looking out the window it’s certainly clearer than yesterday.

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