Title: Preparations for Tropical Storm Idalia Impact Florida’s West Coast
Florida’s west coast is gearing up for the arrival of Tropical Storm Idalia. In response, Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that toll roads along the coast will have waived tolls starting at 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 29, to facilitate safer travel for residents and evacuees.
To ensure the safety of its residents, Hernando County schools and most district offices will be closed from Monday to Wednesday, August 28-30. The Office of Emergency Management has requested the closure, as they will be using the schools as shelters.
Citrus County schools will also be affected, operating on a half-day schedule on Monday, August 28, and remaining closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30. Additionally, all after-school programs and extra-curricular activities are cancelled until further notice.
The impact of the storm extends to Hillsborough County as well, as schools, district offices, and the Hillsborough County Court will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30. It is expected that these entities will resume operations on Thursday, August 31.
MacDill Air Force Base has issued a mandatory evacuation for non-essential personnel and dependents residing in Hillsborough, Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties. They are authorized to travel up to a 350-mile radius to secure their safety.
In addition, various institutions across the region are taking precautions. The Straz Center and the Patel Conservatory in Tampa will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30, and are set to reopen on Thursday, August 31. Rasmussen University Tampa Bay area campuses will also be closed during the same period.
The impact is felt across administrative offices as well. Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Offices, Temple Terrace city offices, and Tarpon Springs facilities will all be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30.
Pinellas County will see closures in schools, Stetson University College of Law campuses in Gulfport and Tampa, St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport, and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30. Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Offices also plan to reopen on Thursday, August 31.
Pasco County schools, Pasco-Hernando State College campuses, and Saint Leo University will all be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30, in anticipation of the storm.
Meanwhile, NPCPS schools will operate normally on Tuesday, August 29, but all after-school programs and sports activities are cancelled. However, all PCPS schools and district offices will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, August 30-31. Similarly, Polk State College and its collegiate high schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, with plans to reopen on Thursday.
Residents and visitors to Manatee County should be aware that schools and support sites will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 29-30. Extracurricular activities and athletic events will also be cancelled until schools reopen.
While the University of Central Florida remains unaffected by the storm, the University of South Florida, University of Florida, and Florida State University will cancel classes and close campuses on August 29-30.
The impact extends to the healthcare sector, with AdventHealth West Florida division hospitals, emergency rooms, physician practices, and care pavilions adjusting their hours and experiencing some closures due to the storm.
Recreational facilities are also being affected. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Adventure Island, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium will all be closed on Tuesday through Thursday, August 29-31, with plans to reopen on Friday.
For the most up-to-date information on closures and evacuations, individuals are encouraged to visit the official websites and social media accounts of the respective organizations and institutions. It is important to stay informed and take necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety during this approaching storm.
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