Rainy day slows traffic on I-75

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:55 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:55 a.m.

Rain fell on the Gainesville area through Wednesday night and is expected to continue into the afternoon.

Jason Hess, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, said the rain would begin to dissipate around mid-morning, with scattered showers throughout the day.

All told, this bout of rain will drop nearly 1.5 inches of rain on the region - far shy of the record of 2.8 inches set in 1994, but a significant amount for this time of year, according to Hess.

"We need this during the winter to head off any droughts or wildfires in the spring," Hess said.

The heavier morning rains lowered visibility to about 2.5 miles.

The Florida Highway Patrol was responding to roughly 15 accidents as of 8 a.m., most of them on Interstate 75.

Wrecks were slowing or blocking traffic on sections of I-75 northbound near Gainesville.

Motorists should keep a safe distance, use headlights and reduce speeds to around 60 mph to avoid accidents while driving in the rain, said FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan.

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