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Sunshine Skyway open after Tropical Storm Debby downgraded; other roads remain flooded

The Sunshine Skyway was reopened early Wednesday after Tropical Storm Debby's wind gusts and flooding rain closed the bridge for three days.

Since Sunday, the more than 50,000 motorists who typically cross the bridge daily were forced to take a long detour on Interstate 75.

Florida Highway Patrol officials called the prolonged closure unprecedented.

The FHP reopened all lanes on the bridge about 3 a.m., but warned wind speeds of 20 miles per hour, with stronger gusts, could still be felt from the bridge.

Several other roadways throughout the region remained shut due to heavy flooding after sustained rainfall over the last several days brought up to 15 inches of rain in some parts of the Tampa Bay area.

• The right lanes of both eastbound and westbound Fowler Avenue in Tampa, east of 15th Street, remained barricaded.

• The Suncoast Parkway in Hernando County remained closed in both directions from State Road 50 to U.S. 98. So were Powell Road and Spring Hill Drive in Brooksville.

• In Pasco County, State Road 54 in New Port Richey was blocked from Old County Road to Rowan Road because it was still underwater, according to the FHP.

• Bayshore Boulevard was closed between Platt Street and Gandy Boulevard for much of the day, but reopened just before 3 p.m.

Sunshine Skyway open after Tropical Storm Debby downgraded; other roads remain flooded 06/27/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 3:00pm]
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