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Storm surge from Ike prompts Fla. highway closure

OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - Officials closed one section of a
major Panhandle highway this morning after storm surge from
Hurricane Ike flooded the road.

U.S. Highway 98 runs east from Pensacola along the Gulf of
Mexico to Taylor County, southeast of Tallahassee.

Gulf waters began washing over U.S. 98 on Okaloosa Island
between Fort Walton Beach and Destin early this morning, and
officials closed all four lanes across the island at about 9 a.m.

Traffic has backed up on both sides of the island as motorists are
rerouted north to Interstate 10.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kirk Caseres says the
road will likely remain closed for days.

He says Ike's winds will bring in high waves across the Panhandle through Saturday.


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