Both northbound lanes and the outer southbound lane of U.S. Route 441 have remained closed on Paynes Prairie since Monday morning due to extreme flooding.

At about 2 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol officers shut down both northbound lanes and one southbound lane of U.S. 441 beginning at County Road 234 in Micanopy, said Lt. Patrick Riordan, public affairs officer for FHP Troop B. The remaining southbound lane is not expected to close.

“We just want to ensure, especially during nighttime hours, that people have a safe place to travel,” he said.

There will continue to be a patrolman on that stretch of road monitoring conditions while flooding persists, Riordan said.

In the meantime, FHP encourages northbound motorists to use CR 234 westbound to Interstate 75 north, according to the press release.

Deborah Petronella, who lives near Bivens Arm, said she uses U.S. 441 three to four times a week. For her, the closures aren’t catastrophic, but they are an inconvenience.

“Life can still go on,” she said.

The Gainesville resident believes that a little foresight would have been helpful prior to building the road through a flood-prone area.

As far as the wildlife goes, it’s nothing Petronella isn’t already accustomed too.

“I’m more worried about seeing (alligators) in my own backyard from the swamp than I am on the roadside,” she said.

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