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Ian washed away part of Sanibel Causeway, Sanibel and Captiva cut off from mainland

TAMPA - Sanibel and Captiva islands have been cut off from the mainland after Hurricane Ian washed away at least three sections of the Sanibel Causeway. 

The causeway is the only way for vehicles to enter or leave the islands.  

The videos from the causeway show two portions of the ramp to both bridges washed away, as well as a stretch of roadway that crossed an island in the middle of the causeway.

All lanes of the bridge are currently closed and the severity of the closure is listed as "major," according to Florida 511.

An estimated 6,400 people lived in the City of Sanibel as of April 2021, per the US Census Bureau. The islands are home to a number of hotels and resorts, as their beaches draw a significant amount of tourists each year.

A 2017 City of Sanibel count measured annual bridge traffic over the causeway at over 3 million vehicles.

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