Florida universities prepare for Tropical Storm Idalia: canceled classes, campus closures in effect

by | Aug 28, 2023



  • Multiple universities in Florida, including UF, FSU, and USF, are closing their campuses due to the expected landfall of Tropical Storm Idalia on Wednesday.
  • USF has restricted campus access to essential personnel and aims to reopen by Thursday, pending the storm’s intensity.
  • UF will be closed from Tuesday to Wednesday, with a decision about the rest of the week’s classes to be made on Wednesday; FSU will be closed on Wednesday but remain functional on Tuesday.

Universities across Florida, including the University of Florida (UF), Florida State University (FSU), and the University of South Florida (USF) announced campus closures on Monday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Idalia’s landfall on Wednesday.

As of its afternoon update, USF — the institution closest to Idalia’s projected path — has restricted campus access exclusively to essential personnel and individuals crucial for upholding operational continuity. USF anticipates the reopening of campus facilities and resuming regular business operations by Thursday. However, a final decision regarding its operational status for the rest of the week is pending, contingent upon the intensity of Idalia.

“The University of South Florida is monitoring Tropical Storm Idalia and the possibility of any impacts to the Tampa Bay region,” USF said in a statement. “The safety of students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority as we track the storm.”

Similarly, UF officials made the decision late Monday afternoon to shutter its campus and halt all classes. The closure commences at noon on Tuesday, August 29, and will continue through Wednesday, August 30. The university is expected to give a decision for the remainder of the week on Wednesday regarding the resumption of classes.

FSU will close on Wednesday, August 30, but remain functional on Tuesday. Despite the closure, essential business operations will remain functional, according to a university-wide memo.

“University officials continue to closely monitor the developments of this severe weather event and remind individuals not to travel into areas with deteriorating weather conditions,” read the notice.

The University of North Florida will also be closed Tuesday and Wednesday with plans to resume normal operations on Thursday. New College of Florida will close on Tuesday, while Florida A&M University will close on Wednesday.

Several institutions within the Florida College System have also announced closures. College of Central Florida, Florida Gateway College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Hillsborough Community College, Lake-Sumter State College, North Florida College, Pasco-Hernando State College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College, and State College of Florida have all declared that they will be closed on Tuesday, August 29, and Wednesday, August 30.

According to the Office of Gov. Ron DeSantis, 21 public school districts — including Hillsborough and Pasco counties, where evacuation orders are in effect — have announced closures through Wednesday.

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