NORFOLK -- After being closed for nearly nine hoursbecause of rising water, the Midtown Tunnel reopened just before 5:00 p.m. Monday.

The tide gate was lowered around 8:00 a.m. to keep water from flooding the tube/

Crews with Elizabeth River Crossings, which now operates the tunnel,worked through the day to pump out water as high as 13 feet that had collected on the Norfolk side.

'The storm water was pumped back into the adjacent inlet following the protocol that VDOT has used in the past,'explained spokeswoman Leila Rice.

The Downtown Tunnel was open as an alternate route between Norfolk and Portsmouth during the closure.

Flooding also forced Hampton Roads Transit to stop light rail and bus service at 6:00 p.m. For most of the day, light rail service was only available between the Norfolk State University Station and Newtown Road station.

High water caused HRT to suspend ferry service across the Elizabeth River. Officials said the North Landing dock in Portsmouth flooded, preventing passengers from accessing the ferry.

All HRTservices were to resume normal operation Tuesday, said spokesman Tom Holden.

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