Many area schools and colleges in the Tampa Bay area have announced plans to shut down ahead of Hurricane Irma’s Florida landfall this weekend.
Hernando, Hillsborough and Pinellas county schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday and Pinellas County junior varsity and varsity athletic events have been moved up a day to avoid cancellations.
Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota county schools will be open Thursday but will shut down Friday so families can prepare for the storm.
In addition to K-12 schools, the University of Tampa announced classes will be cancelled Thursday, Friday and Monday, as have the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, the State College of Florida Collegiate School. Pasco-Hernando State College will be closed on Thursday and Friday, but has not announced plans for Monday.
The University of South Florida, one of the largest universities in the state, said Thursday and Friday classes are cancelled, and also announced that all athletic events planned for the weekend will be postponed or cancelled.
The No. 21 USF Bulls football team plays at the University of Connecticut this weekend, though the two universities are considering moving the game up or cancelling it altogether.
Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida sometime Friday, but experts are still unsure which parts of the state if any will get the brunt of the storm. Current forecasts show the Tampa Bay area getting eight inches of rain.