Around $45 million in revenue for Florida. That’s how much the Florida Turnpike officials estimate has been lost in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
In an effort to encourage Florida citizens and visitors in zones targeted by the constantly shifting hurricane, Governor Rick Scott suspended tolls across Florida before the powerful Irma hit. It was one of many moves made by the governor that received praise from even his greatest critics as Florida prepared for Irma.
More than six million people were told to evacuate their parts of the state as Irma approached Floria, it was expected to not only keep traffic moving as best as possible but also to cut down on the cost of traveling.
“Governor Scott’s top priority was to keep people safe as our state faced the threat of Hurricane Irma and to ensure Floridians had no reason to not evacuate if they were in evacuation zones. Suspending tolls was critical to helping Floridians travel safely and quickly during the largest ever evacuation in U.S. history,” explains a spokesperson for the Florida Turnpike.
Irma hit Florida in Monroe County on September10, with a second landfall in Collier County. The weakening hurricane then traveled north toward Tallahassee by September 11.
While the turnpike revenue took a $3 million daily loss, Turnpike officials say the loss isn’t expected to have much impact in that they plan for such things during the budget process.
The collection of tolls resumed at 12:01 a.m. on Thursdays for most of the state.