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Sandbags, school closures, shelters and more ahead of Hurricane Ian

TS Ian-Satellite 11a Sunday.gif
The spaghetti model of the forecasted path for Tropical storm Ian shows a lot of uncertainty.

As Hurricane Ian makes its way toward Florida, county officials in the greater Tampa Bay region are preparing and asking residents to do the same.

Local state of emergency orders have been declared in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Hernando, and Citrus counties and the cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Dunedin.

The following is a list of closures and sandbag locations throughout the area. This list will be updated as more information becomes available.


Polk County

  • All Polk County Environmental Lands sites and Natural Resources Stormwater Treatment Wetlands will be closed Monday until further notice. These sites include Circle B Bar Reserve, Crooked Lake Prairie, Crooked Lake Sandhill, Gator Creek Reserve, Hickory Lake Scrub, Lakeland Highlands Scrub, Marshall Hampton Reserve, North Walk-in-Water Creek, Peace River Hammock, Sherwood L. Stokes Preserve, Alafia Reserve and SUMICA.
  • All Polk County campgrounds will close at 12:00 p.m. on Monday. Bone Valley ATV Park will be closed Monday, and all youth and adult league activities are canceled effective Monday night and will remain so until further notice.

Hillsborough County

  • Hillsborough County will close all offices and facilities on Monday, including county libraries, parks, preserves and recreation centers. 
  • Hillsborough has postponed the Memorial Park open house scheduled for Tuesday. 
  • The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County offices are closed for regular operations starting Monday. Individuals with appointments will be contacted to reschedule clinic visits.

Pinellas County

  • All Florida Department of Health centers in Pinellas County will be closed on Monday until further notice. 
  • All Pinellas County Tax Collector's Offices will be closed Tuesday-Friday. The tentative plan is to reopen on Monday, October 3.

Pinellas-Pasco Counties

  • All courthouses in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, which comprises Pinellas and Pasco counties, will be closed Tuesday through Thursday.

Pasco County

  • All Florida Department of Health offices in Pasco County are closed for regular operations Wednesday through Friday.

Hernando County

  • All Florida Department of Health offices and clinics in Hernando County are closed for regular operations Tuesday through Friday.

Sarasota County

  • All westbound lanes on Siesta Bridge and the John Ringling Causeway Bridge will be closed to everyone except for barrier island residents attempting to access their homes. Both bridges will be closed to all vehicles at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
  • Water will be shut off to all barrier islands in Sarasota and Manatee counties this evening, including Siesta Key, Casey Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island and more.

VA clinics

The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is closing locations across the area.

The C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center in Bay Pines will close Monday through Thursday, the North Pinellas and St. Petersburg VA clinics on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Sarasota and Bradenton clinics on Wednesday.

Veterans with medical emergencies should call 911 or go to the nearest open emergency room.

Manatee County

  • At the close of business on Monday, all parks and preserves will be closed until further notice. 
  • Public libraries will be closed Tuesday until further notice.
  • Building and construction inspection services will be suspended until further notice.


The University of South Florida has announced all classes have been canceled from Monday through Friday. All USF campuses and business operations will be closed Tuesday through at least Thursday.

The University of Tampa will be closed from Monday through next Monday.

Eckerd College is closing Monday afternoon at 5. All students have to be out of residences by 3 p.m.

St. Pete College will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saint Leo University has canceled classes for Wednesday through Friday.

Pinellas County

  • All Pinellas County schools and offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday and extracurricular activities will be canceled. 

Pasco County

  • Pasco County schools will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Hillsborough County

  • Hillsborough County schools are closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All extracurricular activities are canceled.

Sarasota County

  • Sarasota County schools are closed Tuesday.


Pinellas County

  • Special needs shelters will open at 6 p.m. Monday. Those with transportation needs should call (727) 464-4333. 
  • Three shelters for the general population, including one allowing pets, will open at 6 p.m. Monday: Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 S. MLK Jr. Ave, Clearwater; Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St. N., St. Petersburg; Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave. N., Largo – pets allowed.
  • Additional shelters will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Locations can be found here.

Hillsborough County

  • Hillsborough has activated 49 schools as emergency shelters
  • Hillsborough County has opened a new special-needs shelter at the Yuengling Center, located at 12499 USF Bull Run Drive, Tampa, FL 33617, on the University of South Florida campus.
  • Erwin Technical College, a special-needs shelter located at 2010 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, is at capacity and is now closed.

Sarasota County

Hernando County


Polk (Available 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day)

  •  Mulberry, 900 NE 5th St. (863) 519-4734
  • Lakeland, 8970 N. Campbell Road (863) 815-6701
  • Fort Meade, 1061 NE 9th St. (863) 285-6588
  • Frostproof, 350 County Road 630A (863) 635-7879
  • Auburndale, 1701 Holt Road (863) 965-5524
  • Dundee, 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW (863) 421-3367
  • Poinciana Park, corner of Lake Hatchineha Road and Marigold Ave.


  • Pinellas County locations (Locations are open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or as supplies last. Limit is 20 bags per person.)

    -- John Chestnut Sr. Park, 2200 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor
    -- Walsingham Park: 12615 102nd Ave, Seminole
    -- Lealman Exchange, 5175 45th St. N., St. Petersburg

  • St. Petersburg (Available beginning Sunday until sundown and Monday and Tuesday from  8 a.m. to sundown. Must provide proof of residency. Limit is 10 sandbags) 
    -- Lake Maggiore, 3601 Dr. MLK Jr. St.
    -- Northeast Park, 875 62nd Ave NE
    -- Northwest Pool, 2331 60th Street N.
  • Dunedin (Available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to city residents. Proof of residency is required. There is a 15 bag limit.)
    -- Highlander Pool, 903 Michigan Blvd
  • Clearwater (Sandbags will be available beginning at 9 a.m.)
    -- Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, 2450 Drew St.
  • Pinellas Park (Available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Limit is 10 per resident. Proof of residency is required) 
    -- Helen Howarth Park, 6401 94th Ave. N.
    -- Pinebrook Park, 7202 118th Ave. N.
    -- Broderick Park, 6101 66th Ave. N.


  • Hillsborough County locations (Sandbags will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The limit is 10 sandbags. Proof of residency is required.) 
    -- Edward Medard Conservation Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Rd., Plant City
    -- E.G. Simmons Conservation Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin
    -- Ed Radice Park, 14720 Ed Radice Dr., Tampa
    Tampa (The sites are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6  p.m. Must provide proof of residency. There is a 10 bag limit.)
    -- Himes Avenue Complex, 4501 S. Himes Ave.
    -- Al Barnes Park, 2902 N. 32nd St.
    -- MacFarlane Park, 1700 N. MacDill Ave.

(UPDATE: Tampa is closing its sandbag sites Tuesday at 2 p.m.)

Hernando (The sites will be open on Sunday at 9 a.m.)

  • Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Spring Hill 
  • Anderson Snow Park, 1360 Anderson Snow Rd., Spring Hill


  • Bennett Park
  • Bradenton Area Convention Center
  • G.T. Bray Park
  • Manatee Beach
  • Myakka Community Center
  • Rubonia Community Center
  • Coquina Beach
  • Bayfront Park
  • Buffalo Creek Park

Gulfport (There is a 10 bag limit)

  • 49th Street Neighborhood Center, 1617 49th St. S.  
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