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WUSF is part of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, which provides up-to-the minute weather and news reports during severe weather events on radio, online and on social media for 13 Florida Public Media stations. It’s available on WUSF 89.7 FM, online at WUSFNews.org and through the free Florida Storms app, which provides geotargeted live forecasts, information about evacuation routes and shelters, and live local radio streams.

Sandbags, school closures, shelters and more ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole

11-9 2p TS Nicole rainfall.jpeg
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Warnings have now spread into North Central Florida with Nicole expected to bring heavy winds and rain to much of the state on Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended a state of emergency to 45 counties ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole.

Related: Every evacuation order called ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole, so far

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



  • Hillsborough: Public schools will be closed Thursday and will remain closed on Friday for Veterans Day.
  • Pinellas: Schools will be closed Thursday and return to normal operations on Friday.
  • Pasco: Schools will be closed Thursday. School will be back in session on Friday, Nov.11.
  • Polk: Schools will be closed Thursday. All after-school activities are canceled Wednesday and Thursday. Schools will remain closed on Friday for Veterans Day.
  • Sarasota: Public schools closed Thursday, will resume normal operations Friday.
  • Hernando: Schools are closed Thursday and will remain closed on Friday for Veterans Day.
  • Manatee County: Closed on Thursday, and closed for Veterans Day on Friday.
  • Citrus County: Schools are closed Thursday. This includes all after-school programs and extra-curricular activities for Wednesday and Thursday. Schools will remain closed on Friday for Veterans Day.
  • DeSoto County schools are closed on Thursday.
  • Hernando County schools are closed on Thursday.
  • Highlands County schools are closed on Thursday.
  • Hardee County schools are closed Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Polk State College and the collegiate high schools will be open Wednesday with all in-person classes taking place until 5 p.m. Online classes will take place through the evening on Wednesday. The College will be closed on Thursday. This includes all operations, including remote and online classes. All events on campus for Wednesday evening and all day Thursday, including the College Open House are canceled.
  • St. Pete College is open Thursday but closed on Friday for Veterans Day.
  • University of South Florida - Tampa will hold remote classes on Thursday.
  • University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, holding remote classes Thursday, with some exceptions, check the website.
  • University of South Florida-Sarasota-Manatee, holding remote classes Thursday, check the website for exceptions.
  • The University of Tampa will move to remote instruction on Thursday and regular instruction and operations will resume on Friday.
  • Manatee Technical College will be closed on Thursday.

City/County/state offices

  • The City of Tampa will close city offices on Thursday. City of Tampa Solid Waste Services will be suspended beginning Thursday and will resume normal service on Monday.
  • All Southwest Florida Water Management District offices will be closed Thursday. District offices are scheduled to be closed Friday for Veteran’s Day.
  • All Hillsborough County offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday. That includes libraries, parks, preserves, and recreation centers. All public meetings have also been postponed. In addition, Hillsborough County offices and most facilities will remain closed on Friday due to Veterans Day, but all parks, nature preserves, trails, splash pads and boat ramps will reopen.
  • The Department of Health in Hillsborough County will close on Thursday.
  • Manatee County libraries will be closed Thursday.


  • Tampa International Airport plans to remain open on Thursday. Ticketed passengers are advised to check with their airlines to verify flight status.
  • Orlando International Airport will cease commercial operations at 4 p.m. Wednesday until further notice.


  • Busch Gardens will be closed on Thursday.


Hillsborough County

  • Erwin Technical College, 2010 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, FL 33610. The shelter opens at noon on Wednesday.

Pasco County

  • Mike Fasano Regional Hurricane Shelter, 11161 Denton Ave., Hudson. The shelter opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday.


Pasco County

  • Magnolia Valley Golf Course: 7223 Massachusetts Avenue, New Port Richey
  • Pasco County Public Works (C-Barn): 30908 Warder Road, San Antonio

Sandbag sites are self-serve and open 24/7 to Pasco County residents. Sandbags are provided, but you must bring your own shovels to fill the bags. Crews will restock sand daily.

Dade City

  • Former Dade City Police Department building, 38042 Pasco Avenue, Dade City

Polk County

Sandbag site are open Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Mulberry – 900 NE 5th St., Mulberry – 863.519.4734
  • Lakeland – 8970 N. Campbell Road, Lakeland – 863.815.6701
  • Fort Meade – 1061 NE 9th St., Fort Meade – 863.285.6588
  • Frostproof – 350 County Road 630A, Frostproof – 863.635.7879
  • Auburndale – 1701 Holt Road, Auburndale – 863.965.5524
  • Dundee – 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW, Dundee – 863.421.3367
  • Poinciana Park – Corner of Lake Hatchineha Road and Marigold Ave.

Citrus County

Two self-serve sandbag sites opened at 8:00 a.m. today, at the following locations:

  • Homosassa Community Park, 4210 S Grandmarch Ave,
  • Homosassa Bicentennial Park, 501 N Baseball Pt, Crystal River
    Self-serve sites are open 24 hours but are not monitored overnight for availability of supplies. Citizens wishing use self-serve sites will need to bring a shovel.
I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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