With Hurricane Ian leaving a trail of destruction and flooding, can you get from Miami to Tampa or beyond on Florida highways?
Major highways crisscrossing the state are open. But you may not want to exit in areas hit the hardest because of debris, flooding and emergency vehicles.
Interstate 75 cuts through the heart of the hurricane zone in Southwest Florida, passing the hard-hit areas of Naples, Port Charlotte, Sarasota and Fort Myers.
“Thanks to our emergency response crews, all of I-75 is now open in Florida,” the Florida Department of Transportation said in a statement on Twitter.
At the same time, Florida law enforcers are asking drivers to stay off the roads if possible to make way for first responders and repair crews trying to get to areas damaged by the hurricane.
State officials on Thursday reopened the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which links Manatee County with the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area. The Florida Highway Patrol is warning drivers, however, to watch out for debris along the shoulders.
On the east side of the state, I-95 is open, but crews are working to clear debris from a stretch of highway in Brevard County.
Turnpike toll plazas
For drivers traveling the turnpike, there’s some good news: All serivice plazas have reopened for food and fuel. The state had shut down three plazas: Turkey Lake, Canoe Creek and Fort Drum as Ian approached. For now, no restaurants are open at Canoe Creek and Turkey Lake, but food is available through the convenience stores, and the gas stations are open, according to FDOT.
Express lanes on I-4
Although I-4 is open in the Orlando area, express lanes and ramps may be closed or limited due to flooding and hurricane response crews.
Tolls on some roads, including Alligator Alley, were suspended in advance of Ian approaching Florida.