Rising river threatens to shut down I-75

UPDATE (09/14): Today, the Florida Department of Transportation announced that I-75 will remain open, as flood waters have been receding on the Santa Fe River.

Hurricane Irma is still a pain, even after she's gone. The Santa Fe River in North Central Florida flooded its banks, closing roads and even threatening homes.

Cars were backed up for miles, coming back from escaping the wrath of Irma. Interstate 75, one of the state’s vital arteries could clamp shut, because of the rising floodwaters.  So far, the foul-smelling water has already forced bridges at U.S. Highway 41 and U.S. Highway 27 to close.  It's now threatening to block I-75, State Road 47, and U.S. Highway 212, sending drivers on a hundred-mile detour back to Central Florida.

Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation say the rains have swelled the river more than 15 feet in the last day-and-a-half.  Steven Bonett, who lives near the river, said he’s never seen it like this.

“My next door neighbor's been around for 55 years; he says it's never been up this high,” Bonett said.  “Last time we had three hurricanes, in '04 or '05, it came about 20 yards to my property, so I'm hoping it does the same.”

Bonett said he's hoping for the best.

“I'm just watching it and I'll move important things if it gets too high. But I'm hoping it doesn't go that way. We'll see.”

The Florida Highway Patrol says if they need to close I-75, they will redirect traffic east, to Interstate 95, but they say they will hold off on that for as long as they can.