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Gulf Coast schools close as Idalia approaches

  • By Jim Stinson
  • | 1:00 p.m. August 28, 2023
  • | Updated 3:57 p.m. August 28, 2023
The University of South Florida cancels classes.
The University of South Florida cancels classes.
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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As Tropical Storm Idalia approaches, a number of school systems are closed.

At noon on Monday, Sarasota County public schools announced the district would be closed Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, August 30, instead functioning as evacuation centers.

Hillsborough County Public Schools will be closed, and all after-school programs will be suspended, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the school district announced on Monday as Idalia approaches.

Further, all district offices will also be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, the school district says.

Hillsborough County emergency officials activated some of the schools as storm shelters to house evacuees who are in flood zones, officials say.

"It is anticipated that we will reopen and resume normal operations on Thursday, August 31," school officials say. "We will provide further updates if that plan changes."

The school district noted Hillsborough County declared an emergency on Sunday.

Pinellas County Emergency Management activated shelters in preparation for Idalia, so Pinellas County Schools and offices will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, the district says. Post-class activities and sports are also cancelled.

Pasco County Schools will close Tuesday and Wednesday. Hernando County Schools closed Monday, and will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Polk County County Schools say they are monitoring the situation but Tuesday classes will commence. But all after-school activities for Tuesday are canceled and will be rescheduled as needed, the school district says. The district also postponed the College and Career Fair scheduled for Tuesday evening at Florida Southern College.

The University of South Florida announced at 2:40 p.m. Monday that all classes are canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday. And all USF campuses will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to an update from USF officials.



Jim Stinson

Jim Stinson is the Business Observer's Tampa Bay business reporter and editor, having previously written about business and policy in Washington, D.C.; Rochester, New York; Gary, Indiana; and Daytona Beach. He attended Boston University for business and Indiana University for journalism.

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