Brooksville, Florida- Parts of the Bay area still feel the effects of Tropical Storm Debby. A portion of the Suncoast Parkway in Hernando County remains closed because of flooding and will stay closed during the July 4 Holiday.
The good news is, the water has nearly cleared the south bound lanes, when just a few days ago the water stretched nearly a mile long covering the roadway.
The water is deepest on the north bound lanes, reaching depths of about four feet in some points.
"The road was designed to handle a 100 year storm and Hernando County exceeded 100 year storm weather levels in just three days," says Christa Deason a spokesperson for the Florida Turnpike Enterprise. She adds, "It would be 16.8 inches of rain over five days, and the Suncoast took in 16.8 inches in just three days."
Pipes have been pumping the water off the road for a week into a nearby pond. So far, 18 million gallons a day have been removed from the road, totaling up to 75 million gallons.
Florida Turnpike officials expect the water to be gone by Thursday, then the road's structure will have to be tested before reopening.
Deason says, "The roadway itself is constructed in layers, so anytime water you have standing water on a roadway...if it's there too long it can cause damage to the asphalt."
Turnpike officials say when the state received permits from Southwest Florida Water Management District to build more than 10 years ago, this area was relatively undeveloped.
Since then, subdivisions have gone up to the north and east of the Suncoast.
"Unfortunately we've seen water come to Suncoast from areas north and to the east of us. I don't have an explanation for why that is; that's one of the things we'll be looking at and evaluating," says Deason.
"We've seen areas throughout our district that have received what we call a 200 year storm event," says Robin Felix with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Felix says this is a chance to re-evaluate permitting requirements.
Felix says, "We need to look at the design for the roadway and for its stormwater systems as well as the nearby surrounding area and neighborhoods."
The southbound lanes of the Suncoast at mile marker 54 are expected to open at the earliest Friday morning and the north bound lane may open Friday afternoon.