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Shelters, Closures And Sandbag Locations From Thursday Ahead Of Hurricane Irma

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Irma's projected path is still not clear, but state leaders are urging Floridians to prepare for the worst.

Some events around the Tampa Bay area have already been cancelled and county leaders are providing sandbags for residents who want them. 

Here's a list of closings and other need-to-know information as Hurricane Irma approaches: 


Pinellas County

Emergency shelters will open at noon on Friday. Open shelter locations will be as follows:

  • Tarpon Springs Middle School, 501 N. Florida Ave., Tarpon Springs
  • Palm Harbor University High School, 1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor
  • Dunedin Highland Middle School, 70 Patricia Ave., Dunedin (special needs/pet friendly)
  • Oak Grove Middle School, 1370 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater (special needs/pet friendly)
  • Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave., Largo
  • Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. South, St. Petersburg
  • John Hopkins Middle School, 701 16th St. South, St. Petersburg (special needs/pet friendly)

Hillsborough County

Two special-needs shelters will open at 8 a.m. Friday.

  • Strawberry Crest High School, 4691 Gallagher Road in Dover
  • SunDome at USF, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa

Fourteen shelters will open at 8 a.m. Saturday for all other residents.

  • Middleton High School, 4801 N 22nd Street in Tampa
  • Simmons Career Center, 1202 W Grant Street in Plant City
  • Shields Middle School, 15732 Beth Shields Ways in Ruskin (Pet-Friendly)
  • Pizzo Elementary School, 11701 Bull Run in Tampa
  • Cypress Creek Elementary School, 400 19th Ave NE in Ruskin
  • Hammond Elementary School, 8008 N Mobley Road in Odessa
  • Sessums Elementary School, 11525 Ramble Creek Drive in Tampa
  • Bartels Middle School, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd in Tampa (Pet-Friendly)
  • Brandon High School, 1101 Victoria Street in Brandon
  • Smith, Sgt. Paul Middle School, 14303 Citrus Pointe Drive in Tampa (Pet-Friendly)
  • Burnett Middle School, 1010 N Kingsway Road in Seffner (Pet-Friendly)
  • Valrico Elementary School, 609 South Miller Road in Valrico
  • Summerfield Crossings Elementary School, 11050 Fairway Meadow Road in Valrico
  • Greco Middle School, 6925 East Fowler Ave in Temple Terrace

Pasco County

The following shelters will open at 11 a.m. Friday:

  • Fivay High School, 12115 Chicago Ave., Hudson
  • River Ridge Middle/High School, 11646 Town Center Rd., New Port Richey
  • Sunlake High School, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O Lakes
  • Wesley Chapel High School, 30651 Wells Rd., Wesley Chapel
  • Wiregrass Ranch High School, 2909 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel (Pet-friendly)

Manatee County

The following shelters will open at 4 p.m. Friday:

  • Myakka Elementary School
  • Braden River High School (pet friendly)
  • Manatee High School (pet friendly)
  • Elementary (pet friendly)Manatee County


Gov. Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties Friday to prepare for the storm. Before Friday, state office closures will be dictated by what individual counties do. Scott also asked state employees to volunteer in support of Florida's emergency shelter mobilization efforts. 

Hillsborough County offices and facilities are closed Friday and Monday.

The Hillsborough County Tax Collector offices will be closed Friday and Monday.

The Pinellas County Tax Collector offices are closed Friday and Monday.

The Florida Aquarium will be closed on Sunday.

All elective services and procedures at the The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and clinics will be cancelled on Monday. The outpatient clinics will be closed. The Outpatient Pharmacy will be open until 4:30 p.m. Sunday.  

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County will be closed on Friday.

The St. Petersburg office of the Veterans Benefits Administration are closed on Friday and Monday.

Manatee County Area Transit will suspend services on Friday. Handy Bus services will also be suspended except for previously scheduled dialysis trips on Friday and Saturday. The suspension could last until Sept. 13.

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo will close at 1 p.m. Thursday and remain closed Friday.

Hernando’s Pine Island Park, 10840 Pine Island Drive, will be closed on Thursday until further notice due to potential flooding.

All Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library events have been cancelled from Friday until Tuesday.

Hillsborough's 13th Judicial Circuit Court will be closed Thursday and Friday and shelter and detention hearings will not be held. Decisions for Monday operations are pending. For updates visit www.fljud13.org.

Most Hernando County government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, including the Hernando County Tax Collector, the Supervisor of Elections and the Hernando County Property Appraiser. The Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller will be open Thursday but closed Friday.

The City of Tarpon Springs announced the following closings: Municipal Golf Course, Sunday; Cycadia Cemetery, Saturday and Sunday; Tarpon Springs Library, Saturday and Sunday.

St Pete-Clearwater Airport will close at 11 a.m. Friday until further notice.

Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota is closed starting Saturday.

YMCA of the Suncoast is closing the High Point YMCA in Clearwater from Friday through Sunday. Other locations will be closed Sunday only. There will be no before- or after-school care at facilities from Largo to Lecanto.


The USF football game at the University of Connecticut has been cancelled because of travel concerns. Florida State University and the University of Florida have also cancelled their home games against Louisiana-Monroe and Northern Colorado respectively.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday game against the Miami Dolphins has been rescheduled to Nov. 19 in Miami.

The Friday event at Amalie Arena featuring comedians Chris Tucker and D.L. Hughley has been rescheduled to October 7.

The Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall has canceled performances of The Guys scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Two shows at the Capitol Theater in Clearwater - Adam Ant on Friday night and Steve Earle on Saturday night - have both been postponed.  

The Bryan Adams show scheduled for Sunday at Clearwater’s Coachman Park has been postponed as well. Tickets for all three shows will be honored for the new dates. Adam Ant has rescheduled for January 31, the other two shows' new dates will be announced soon.

The Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for Friday has been postponed and will be rescheduled to a future date.  

The memorial ceremony for Snooty the manatee at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton has been postponed from Sunday to Sept. 24.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Empress of the Seas originally scheduled to arrive on Saturday at Port Tampa Bay will now arrive mid-morning on Friday. The Saturday sailing has been cancelled.

The Tampa Boat Show, which was scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed until Oct. 13-15. For more information, visit www.tampaboatshow.com.

The Bay Pines VA Health Care System ceremony, POW/MIA Remembrances , originally scheduled for September 12, has been postponed. Contact the Bay Pines VA Public Affairs at 727-398-9531 or email vhabaypublicaffairs@va.gov.

The Pinellas County Mobile Collection event planned for this Saturday at the SPC Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S., has been cancelled. 

USF Botanical Gardens' Gesneriad Celebration scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled. 

USF Sarasota-Manatee is canceling its upcoming “What now, Cuba?” seminar, which had been scheduled for next Monday. Tickets will be fully refunded automatically.

All elementary and middle school child care programs at the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation centers are cancelled for Thursday and Friday.

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue has postponed the 9/11 memorial service planned for Monday at Curlew Hills Memorial Gardens.

The Manatee County Fire Chief’s Association has postponed the 9/11 memorial service scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday at Rossi Riverfront Park.

The Greater Palm Harbor YMCA has postponed its Kids Triathlon “Swim, Bike, Run For Freedom” to Sept. 24.

The Heranando YMCA has cancelled its Freedom Run 5K scheduled for Saturday and its 16th Annual Run to Remember scheduled for Monday.

The Night in the Islands event in Tarpon Springs on Saturday has been canceled.

The Rotary Triathlon scheduled for Sunday in Tarpon Springs has been canceled.


Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend tolls across the entire state.


Gov. Scott directed all public K-12 schools, state colleges, state universities (see below) and state offices to be closed Friday through Monday. 

Polk County public schools are closed on Friday.

Hillsborough County public schools and district offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday. All school related activities are canceled as well.

Pinellas County public schools will be closed Thursday and Friday. All school related activities are canceled.

Sarasota County public schools are closed on Friday. All school-related activities are canceled.

Manatee County public schools are closed on Friday. All Friday games have been moved to Thursday evening.

Hernando County schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Afterschool activities are also canceled.

Pasco County public schools are closed Friday. All school-related activities are canceled.   


University of South Florida officials announced late Thursday the Tampa campus will be closed through Monday, joining its St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses. 

The University of Tampa will be closed Thursday through Monday.

Pasco-Hernando State College will close all its campuses on Thursday and Friday.  

Florida Gulf Coast University will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Stetson University College of Law closed Thursday at noon.

Florida Polytechnic University closed its campus from Thursday at 5 p.m. through Tuesday morning, at the earliest.


Pasco County

For more information, visit www.pascoemergencymanagement.com. The following locations are open between 8 a.m. and midnight.  

  • Mitchell Park, 4825 Little Road, New Port Richey
  • Fire Station #17, 2951 Seven Springs Blvd, New Port Richey
  • Magnolia Valley Golf Course Clubhouse, 7223 Massachusetts Ave, New Port Richey
  • Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Rd, Hudson
  • C-Barn, 30908 Warder Road, San Antonio
  • Dade City Police Dept., 38042 Pasco Ave., Dade City
  • Land O' Lakes Rec Center, 3032 Collier Pkwy, Land O' Lakes
  • Wesley Chapel District Park, 7727 Boyette Rd, Wesley Chapel
  • Zephyrhills Fire Station, 6907 Dairy Road, Zephyrhills

Pinellas County

The following locations are open during daylight hours:

  • John Chesnut Sr. Park, 2200 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor
  • Lealman Community Park, 3890 55th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
  • Taylor Park, 1100 Eighth Ave. S.W., Largo
  • Gulfport - Gulfport City Hall, 2401 53rd St. S.
  • Redington Shores - Town Hall, 17425 Gulf Blvd.
  • Oldsmar - East side of City Hall, 100 State St. West
  • Pinellas Park - Public Works Facilities Building, 6151 78th Ave. N.
  • Pinellas Park – Helen Howarth Park, 6301 94th Ave.
  • Safety Harbor - 1200 Railroad Ave.
  • Pinellas Park - Helen Howarth Park, 6301 94th Ave.

St. Petersburg

Update Friday (Sept. 7, 9 a.m.) The city of St. Petersburg is out of sandbags and will not be distributing more.

The following sites will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the next several days.

  • Lake Vista Recreation Center - 1401 62nd Avenue South
  • Main Library - 3745 9th Avenue North ( west Parking lot)
  • Northeast Park - 875 62nd Avenue NE (Cardinal drive entrance to Mangrove Bay Golf Course)
  • Bartlett Park - 2000 7th Street South (off 22nd Avenue South between 6th and 7th Street South)
  • Northwest Pool Parking Lot - 2331 60th Street North

Hillsborough County

The following locations are open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

  • West Service Unit, 9805 Sheldon Road, Tampa
  • South Service Unit, 8718 Old Big Bend Road, Gibsonton
  • East Service Unit, 4702 Sydney Road, Plant City


Update Friday (Sept. 7, 9 a.m.) The city of Tampa is out of sandbags and will not be distributing more.

Sandbags will be available to city residents at three locations daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents can follow updates at @CityofTampa and @AlertTampa on Twitter and can report flooding issues by calling (813) 274-3101

Hernando County

The following sites will be open from 8 a.m. to sundown. Bring your own shovel.

  • Hernando County Department of Public Works, 1525 East Jefferson St., Brooksville
  • Hernando County Fire Rescue Station 1, 1479 Parker Ave., Spring Hill
  • Ridge Manor Community Center, 34240 Cortez Blvd., Dade City
  • Fire Station 2, 3445 Bob Hartung Court, Spring Hill

Polk County

All of Polk County's sandbag fill sites are self-serve. There is a 30 bag limit per person.

  • Caloosa Lake Fire Station, 910 14684 US-27, Lake Wales
  • Cottonwood Fire Station 220, 126 Cottonwood Dr, Davenport
  • Crystal Lake Support Station, 2450 E Main St, Lakeland
  • Cypress Garden Station 580, 2101 Register Rd SE, Winter Haven
  • Golfview Fire Station 870, 808 E Zack St, Tampa
  • Indian Lake Estates Fire Station 960, 6221 Hogan Ln, Indian Lake Estates
  • Jan Phyl Village Fire Station 450, 333 American Spirit Rd, Winter Haven
  • Mulberry Fire Station 720, 900 NE 5th St, Mulberry
  • Nalcrest Fire Station 950, Leisure Ln W, Lake Wales
  • Polk City Fire Station 130, 200 Commonwealth Blvd. SW
  • Providence Fire Station 120, 8936 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland
  • Sleepy Hill Fire Station 110, 3030 Sleepy Hill Rd
  • Solivita Fire Station 670 Address, 1201 Cypress Pkwy, Poinciana    
  • Willow Oak Fire Station 710, 4210 Willis Rd, Mulberry  

Sarasota County

Residents should bring their own bags to the following locations.

  • Phillippi Estate Park: 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
  • Newtown Estates Park: 2800 Newtown Blvd, Sarasota
  • Twin Lakes Park: 6700 Clark Rd, Sarasota
  • South County Fleet Facility: 4571 SR 776/Englewood Road, Venice
  • Behind Venice City Hall: 401 W. Venice Ave., Venice
  • Big Earth Landscape Supply, 6625 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota.

Manatee County

  • Wellfield Police Range off Pinebrook Road, Venice
  • Buffalo Creek Park: 7550 69th St E, Palmetto
  • G.T. Bray Park: 5502 33rd Ave Dr W, Bradenton
  • Lakewood Ranch Park: 5350 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Bradenton
  • Stormwater Ops: 5511 39th St E, Bradenton
  • Rubonia Community Center: 1309 72nd St E, Palmetto     


St. Petersburg officials are urging residents to wash laundry and run dishwashers ahead of the approaching storm to avoid putting unneeded stress on the city’s beleaguered sewage system during periods of heavy rainfall. 

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