(AP) – Florida officials have started allowing people to drive on the shoulders of Interstate 4, the main highway that links Tampa to Orlando.
The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol announced the move on Saturday. It came in the aftermath of updated forecasts that show Hurricane Irma taking aim at Tampa.
State officials have been permitting motorists to use shoulders instead of allowing one-way flow on the state’s highways. Florida has told more than 6 million to evacuate ahead of the killer storm and the mass exodus has jammed the roads.
Gov. Rick Scott has resisted calls to reverse the flow of lanes. Georgia’s governor authorized one-way traffic in order to help with evacuations in that state. State officials cautioned that driving on the left-hand shoulder is only allowed when motorists are directed to do so by police and highway signs.