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Evacuations, School Closings, and More as Florida Braces For Idalia

9 months ago
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Floridians all along the Gulf Coast of Florida are urged to be vigilant and prepared for Tropical Storm Idalia's strike. Idalia has continued to intensify as it approves Florida and is expected to become a major hurricane by Wednesday. This storm will bring dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surges to many areas surrounding the strike zone.

Preparing For a Major Hurricane

A major hurricane is a hurricane categorized as a 3, 4, or 5. A hurricane reaches a category 3 when maximum wind speeds reach at least 111 mph.

Hurricane watches have been put into effect for over 300 miles of the Florida coast from Longboat Key to 60 miles south of Tampa to the Ochlockonee River by Tallahassee.

Tampa Mayor, Jane Castor, declared a state of emergency for the city as a storm surge of up to 7 feet is possible in the area.

Just north of Tampa in Pasco County, almost 600,000 people who live in RVs, mobile homes, or manufactured homes are being forced to evacuate along with residents who live along the coast. The county will be opening shelters for those who need it on Tuesday morning.

Along with Pasco county, Hernando, Citrus, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee county, and MacDill Air Force Base have also ordered evacuations for those along the Gulf coast.

Find your evacuation zone here.

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School Closings

As the state prepares for Idalia, many schools have already closed their doors for at least Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the Florida Department of Education, the below schools will be closed:

  • Citrus County Schools will have a half day schedule Monday, August 28, 2023 and will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Charlotte County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Columbia County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • DeSoto County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Dixie County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Duval County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 through Thursday, August 31, 2023.
  • Gilchrist County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Hamilton County Schools will be closed Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Hardee County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Hernando County Schools will be closed Monday, August 28, 2023 through Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Hillsborough County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Jefferson County Schools will have an early release day Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and remain closed on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Lee County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023
  • Levy County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Madison County Schools will have a half day schedule Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and remain closed through Thursday, August 31, 2023.
  • Manatee County Schools will be closing the following schools at noon on Monday, August 28, 2023: Nolan Middle, Freedom Elementary, Miller Elementary and Mills Elementary.
  • Marion County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Pasco County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Pinellas County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Sarasota County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Suwannee County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
  • Taylor County Schools will be closed Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

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