Cybersecdn- As severe weather looms over Northwest Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is closely monitoring the situation for potential bridge closures. The primary concern for FHP is the safety of motorists amidst these challenging conditions. According to FHP protocols, bridge closures become a serious consideration when sustained winds reach an average speed of 40 mph.
Wow! Check out this clip from a Pensacola, #Florida Live Traffic Cam on the Escambia Bay Bridge just now as a #SevereThunderstorm moves through with up to 70mph wind gusts! #flwx @NWSMobile pic.twitter.com/6RI4o4MXA5
— BirdingPeepWx (@BirdingPeepWx) January 9, 2024
In addition to high winds, other factors influencing the decision to close bridges include the presence of tornadic activity and heavy rainfall that significantly impairs visibility. The FHP does not make these decisions in isolation; it works collaboratively with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and local law enforcement agencies to ensure a coordinated and safe approach to such weather-related emergencies.
The overriding priority in these scenarios is to ensure that emergency workers are not placed in harm’s way while managing closed bridges. As of the latest reports, all bridges in Northwest Florida remain open. However, the situation is dynamic, and updates regarding closures, if any, will be promptly provided by WEAR News. This proactive approach by FHP and its partners underscores a commitment to public safety in the face of unpredictable weather patterns.