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Major roads reopen after Eta closures

The storm forced temporary closures of the Skyway, Bayshore Boulevard, Courtney Campbell Causeway and Howard Frankland Bridge, but they later reopened.
A motorist is seen attempting to drive on a flooded Bayshore Blvd as Tropical Storm Eta sends torrential downpours, storm surge flooding and wind across the Tampa Bay Area on November 12, 2020.
A motorist is seen attempting to drive on a flooded Bayshore Blvd as Tropical Storm Eta sends torrential downpours, storm surge flooding and wind across the Tampa Bay Area on November 12, 2020. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Nov. 12, 2020
Updated Nov. 12, 2020

The Sunshine Skyway bridge and Howard Frankland Bridge were back open on Thursday morning after closures caused by Tropical Storm Eta, and eastbound lanes of the Courtney Campbell Causeway reopened Thursday afternoon after what the City of Clearwater said in a press release was “a massive cleanup.”

Hours of storm surge crashing over seawalls and into roadways overnight left the two outside, eastbound lanes of the Howard Frankland and all eastbound lanes of the Courtney Campbell closed. The Gandy Bridge remained open through the night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

More than 10 roads in Tampa that were impassable earlier Thursday morning had been cleared by 11 a.m., said city of Tampa spokeswoman Ashley Bauman. Those included parts of Bayshore Boulevard, Bay to Bay Boulevard, Gandy Boulevard, Westshore Boulevard, Cypress Street and the Davis Islands Bridge.

Some smaller roads in the region, which saw heavy winds and rain from Wednesday evening through the morning, were still shut down as of 10 a.m.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Eta causes the Hillsborough River inundates Plant Park at the University of Tampa  on November 12, 2020.
Flooding from Tropical Storm Eta causes the Hillsborough River inundates Plant Park at the University of Tampa on November 12, 2020. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

In Pinellas County, parts of Gulf Boulevard, which lines St. Petersburg area beaches, were closed early Thursday and stayed closed as the morning went on, the county reported. The worst flooding was near Madeira Beach, Treasure Island, St. Pete Beach and Pass-a-Grille.

Roads that had been closed in South Pasadena were back open by 11 a.m. Part of 30th Avenue in Gulfport was still closed. In Kenneth City, several downed trees had been cleared, though a downed power line kept part of 61st Street closed. Farther north, in Safety Harbor, part of Bayshore Boulevard was still closed due to flooding.

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2020 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane

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PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

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