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Elsa Updates Around Tampa Bay: Area Power Outages, Closures Sandbags And More

Daylina Miller
WUSF Public Media

Tropical Storm Elsa is causing closures and cancellations as residents prepare for wind, rain and a possible storm surge.

Tropical Storm Elsa is expected to bring wind, rain and storm surge to the greater Tampa Bay region starting Tuesday.

It's causing cancellations and closures as people prepare for the worst.

Here's a list of what we know so far:

Power Outages

As of 5:30 a.m., TECO reported 15,733 customers without power. Duke Energy reported more than 6,000. Florida Power & Light had close to 1,000 residents in Manatee and Sarasota Counties dealing with outages.

Customers experiencing power outages can text, call or contact their local provider online.

  • Duke Energy customers can text "OUT" to 57801 or call 800-228-8485
  • Tampa Electric customers can text "OUT" to 27079 or call 877-588-1010
  • Florida Power customers can text 69375 to sign up or call 1-800-4OUTAGE
  • Lakeland Electric customers can call an automated outage hotline at (863) 834-4248.


Tampa International Airport is suspending flights starting Tuesday at 5 p.m., and air cargo operations at 10 p.m. It plans to resume operations Wednesday at 10 a.m. after assessing the property for potential storm damage. Follow @FlyTPA on Twitter for the latest updates.

The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport ceased operations at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and was expected to reopen at 6 a.m. Wednesday after assessing the airport for storm damage.

All classes at the University of South Florida will be delivered remotely on Tuesday and Wednesday. Residence halls and dining facilities at the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses will remain open.

Hillsborough Community College, New College of Florida and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota closed campuses Tuesday. St. Petersburg College shifted to online-only classes Tuesday.

Tampa Parks & Recreation parks, programs and facilities will be closed beginning at 12 p.m. Tuesday through Wednesday. Please contact your local Recreation Center directly with any Summer Camp pick-up issues. Call 1-833-TPA-INFO for Tampa's Emergency Hotline.

City of Temple Terrace facilities including City Hall, Public Works, the Public Library, Omar K. Lightfoot Center and the Family Recreation Complex will close Tuesday 2 pm. Sandbag distribution also will cease at that time.

  • City Hall and Public Works will reopen at noon on Wednesday, July 7, while the Public Library, Lightfoot Center and the Family Recreation Complex will open at 1 p.m. Youth programs are cancelled for Wednesday.

Hillsborough County offices and facilities will close at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) will cease all service on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in preparation for the effects of Elsa. HART plans to restore service on Wednesday, July 7 at 10 a.m if deemed safe.

The Apollo Beach Nature Preserve will be closed on Tuesday.

Hillsborough, Hernando and Pasco schools will close starting Tuesday afternoon, with plans to keep schools closed through Wednesday. Pinellas also cancelled summer school and all extra curricular activities.

Largo will close its City Hall and all city facilities at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The city commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday is also closed.

The City of Sarasota's administrative offices will be closed on Tuesday. Late on Tuesday they announced they were resuming regular services first thing on Wednesday.

Sarasota Parks and Recreation will not host summer camps and other programing on Tuesday. It will also close its pools and the following locations:

  • Arlington Park and Aquatic Complex, 2650 Waldemere St.
  • Lido Pool, 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr.
  • Nature Trails at Bobby Jones Golf Club, 1000 Circus Blvd.
  • Payne Park Tennis Center, 2050 Adams Ln.
  • Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St.
  • Bayfront Community Center, 803 N. Tamiami Tr.
  • Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Tr.

For reopening information visit LetsPlaySarasota.com or the department’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CityofSarasotaParksandRec
Courthouses in Pinellas County will be closed as of 2 p.m. Tuesday while the courthouses in Pasco County will remain open until the end of the day. However, courthouses in both counties will be closed on Wednesday, July 7.

  • All courthouses are to resume business as usual on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
  • As for first appearances on Wednesday in Pinellas County, all types -- including misdemeanors and felonies -- will be held at 1:30 pm at the County Justice Center in Clearwater.
  • First appearances in Pasco County on Wednesday will be held at noon at the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center in Dade City. While the majority of hearings scheduled for Wednesday have to be rescheduled for a future unknown date, all injunction hearings in Pinellas County that were scheduled Wednesday at a particular time will be held Thursday at the same exact time.

Evacuations and Shelters

Hernando County ordered a voluntary evacuation for residents in coastal zone A, mobile homes, low-lying and flood prone areas. The County opened a shelter for residents that is pet-friendly and will also serve those with special needs at the Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd. Brooksville.

Pinellas County will open two shelters at 9 a.m. Tuesday for residents:

  • The Lealman Exchange shelter, 5175 45th St. N in St. Petersburg, will open for the general population, those with special needs and persons with pets.
  • Ross Norton Recreation Center shelter, 1426 S. Martin Luther King Jr Ave. in Clearwater, will open to the general population.

Hillsborough County opened a shelter on 8 a.m. Tuesday for residents:

  • The shelter is located at Riverview High School, 11311 Boyette Road in Riverview. The shelter will open at 8 a.m.
  • The shelter is intended for those dependent on electricity for home medical needs or who live in homes and manufactured housing that are susceptible to storm damage. Pets will be accepted.

Pasco County opened a shelter at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday as a last resort for anyone wanting to leave their home ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa. It will be at the Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter, 11611 Denton Ave, Hudson, FL 34667. Transportation to and from the shelter will not be provided. Call Pasco County Customer Service at 727.847.2411 with any questions or concerns.

Tampa has set up a citizen hotline to help residents prepare. It will be open Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1-833-TPA-INFO (872-4636), and will be available in English and Spanish. Residents can also text TAMPAREADY to 888-777 or TAMPALISTA (for Spanish) to 888-777 to receive real-time emergency text alerts.


Available daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Limit is 10 bags per family and identification or utility bill required to prove residency)

  • Edward Medard Conservation Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Road, Plant City
  • E.G. Simmons Conservation Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin
  • Ed Radice Park, 14720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa

Available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Spring Hill

Available 24 hours a day.

  • W.H. Jack Mitchell, Jr., Park: 4825 Little Road, New Port Richey
  • Veterans Memorial Park: 14333 Hicks Road, Hudson
  • Magnolia Valley Golf Course: 7223 Massachusetts Avenue, New Port Richey
  • Pasco County Public Works (C-Barn): 30908 Warder Road, San Antonio

Pinellas County
Open Tuesday 7 a.m. to noon or until supplies run out. (Limit 20 per person)

  • John Chesnut Sr. Park: 2200 East Lake Road in Palm Harbor
  • Walsingham Park: 12615 102nd Ave, Seminole, FL 33778

Pinellas Park
Available from 8 a.m. to whenever weather conditions are unsafe. Residents are limited to 10 bags and must show water bill and/or valid driver's license

  • Helen Howarth Park: 6301 94th Ave N. Pinellas Park, FL
  • Pinebrook Park: 7202 118th Ave N. Pinellas Park, FL
  • Broderick Park: 6101 66th Ave N. Pinellas Park, FL

St. Petersburg
Available starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday

  • Northeast Park, 875 62nd Avenue NE . (located at the Cardinal Drive entrance to Mangrove Bay Golf Course)
  • James "JC" Turner Fields, 643 22nd Avenue S . (located on the south side of Bartlett Park) sandbags will be distributed in the parking lot of the fields.
  • Northwest Pool, 2331 60th Street N ., sandbags will be distributed in the pool parking lot.

Available until 4 p.m. Tuesday or until supplies run out. There is a 10-bag limit and proof of residency may be required.

  • Vacant lot at 761 Pierce St.

Available 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday (Limit is 10 bags per family and identification or utility bill required to prove residency)

  • Al Barnes Park South, 2902 N. 32nd St.
  • Himes Avenue Complex, 4501 S. Himes Ave.
  • MacFarlane Park, 1700 North MacDill Avenue

Temple Terrace
Available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Limit is 10 bags per family and identification or utility bill required to prove residency)

  • Sports Complex located at 10369 US Highway 301
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