WESLEY CHAPEL - Black Friday shopping turned into a nightmare for several thousand shoppers at the Tampa Premium Outlets off State Road 56 and I75. Drivers reported waiting in lines for 3 to 4 hours to exit the mall. Some ran out of gas while others had to abandon their vehicles to go get food or supplies or use the restroom.
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Traffic was particularly jammed between 2:00pm and did not clear until about 9:00pm when local law enforcement closed portions of State Road 56 to let mall traffic out. We reached out to FDOT and Simon Malls for comment but they did not respond prior to publication.