PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- Tampa Bay school districts are keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Laura as students in many of our larger districts head back to class on Monday.
As of now, school districts will open Monday as planned with the latest model shifting the storm further from Florida’s coast.
Pinellas County emergency leaders gathered inside the Emergency Operations Center in Largo Friday and will be there throughout the weekend to keep tabs on the storm’s development.
ABC Action News checked in with Pasco, Polk, Pinellas, Citrus and Manatee County school leaders. All are monitoring the storm but do not expect any school cancellations.
David Connor, of Pinellas County’s communications team, says county teams are ready in case we see any flooding or wind impacts.
“When you see that cone on the map, when you see it on the news, that’s referring to where the eye of the storm is going to go but you can still feel impacts - storm surge, flooding which we expect quite a bit of rain in Pinellas County,” he said.
Pinellas County Public Works employees spent the day Friday cleaning out storm drains in areas prone to flooding and school employees tell us they spent hours securing lightweight outdoor items.
This year, more schools than ever are being used as emergency shelters, in order to space people apart as COVID-19 concerns linger.
Vicki Henderson, a Largo mom of 2nd and 8th-grade boys, hopes the hurricane season will not interfere with the school calendar, since COVID-19 has already pushed back school a few weeks.
“It’s hurricane season so I’m sure things could get worse but me personally, I’m going to be hoping for not anything else to go wrong in 2020. Positive thoughts. I’m very excited for them to get back into a routine and to be learning in school with their friends and everything that goes along with that. It’s important.”
Public works employees spent the day today cleaning out storm drains in areas prone to flooding and school employees tell us they spent hours securing lightweight outdoor items.
School leaders plan to work closely with county EOCs throughout this hurricane season to make decisions about school closures.
As for Tropical Storm Laura, districts plan to monitor the storm throughout the weekend leading into the first day of school.