Southbound Suncoast Parkway lanes reopen in northern Hernando County
BROOKSVILLE — A day earlier than anticipated, the southbound lanes of the Suncoast Parkway in northern Hernando County were reopened Wednesday after water left behind by Tropical Storm Debby was cleared.
The Florida Department of Transportation and Florida Highway Patrol made the announcement early Wednesday. The northbound lanes between State Road 50 and U.S. 98 remained closed, but are expected to reopen today.
Since more than 15 inches of rain fell in parts of Hernando more than a week ago during Debby, crews have been pumping as much as 18 million gallons of water a day from the flooded toll road. On Tuesday, DOT officials had said they didn't anticipate reopening any of the lanes before today. Christa Deason, spokeswoman for Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, said Wednesday that an extra pump had been brought in Tuesday night to speed up the process.
Deason said officials anticipate being able to reopen the northbound lanes today. Crews are monitoring the parkway to see how it holds up with traffic on it, she said.