Highway 441 Still Flooded In Paynes Prairie

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The closure of highway 441 is a nuisance for a lot of people who live on the south edge of Gainesville.

More than a month after Hurricane Irma the roadway is still waterlogged.

“I’ve been waiting for a while actually,” Raul Carmona said turning around at closed road signs on Highway 441. “It’s kind of surprising that they haven’t really done anything yet. So we will see how long it will last.”

There’s no estimate on when 441 will re-open.

“We’re continuing to monitor the water levels in this area,” Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Troy Roberts said in an email. “FHP will actually make the determination when they believe the road is safe to travel on again.”

Residents of the area say their roads and homes need help.

Michael Baker has lived in Micanopy for 17 years. His home experiences recurring flooding from roadways near his home.

“Experiencing this flood it will take us probably a year or a year and a half to recover from it.” Baker said. “Put the house back in order all of the repairs and then wait for the next flood.”

Flooding around his home is gone, but Baker and his neighbors will wait on the flooding near Paynes Prairie to recede on its own.

Paynes Prairie was Alachua Lake for at least a few decades.
Steamboats ran traffic between Micanopy and Gainesville until the natural sink started draining again in the late 1800’s.

FDOT does not expect major damage to the roadway once the water clears.

“FDOT will conduct a safety check of the roadway to ensure there is no damage to the structural integrity of the roadway, though we don’t expect there to be any,” said Roberts.

About Shamarria Morrison

Shamarria is a reporter for WUFT News who may be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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