Hurricane Matthew: Closures and Alerts

Posted at 12:57 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 14:18:37-04

As of 11 a.m. on Thursday, Hurricane Matthew is a category 4 storm with 140 mph winds as it makes its way toward the east coast of Florida.

The storm is causing disruptions across the state.

Here is a list of school closures, shelters, road closures, sandbag sites, and important alerts that have come into the ABC Action News newsroom.



  • Citrus County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Hernando County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Highlands County Schools- Closed Friday
  • Hillsborough County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Manatee County School - Closed Friday
  • Pasco County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Pinellas County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Polk County Schools - Closed Friday
  • Sumter County Schools - Closed Friday

Hillsborough County football schedules: 
All high school games are still scheduled for Friday night with the following changes:

  • Sarasota Riverview vs Riverview High School football game has been moved to 10/8 at 5 pm at Spoto HS.
  • Wiregrass Ranch vs Wharton High School football game has been moved to 10/8 at 11 am at Wharton HS.




  • Keiser University - Closed Friday.
  • Nova Southeastern University - Closed Friday
  • Troy University Tampa Bay Support Center - Closed Friday
  • Hillsborough Community College - Closed Friday 
  • Everglades University - Closed Friday
  • St. Leo University - Closed Friday





  • Board of Commissioners' Offices closed Friday
  • City of Lakeland Parks closed Friday
  • City of Lakeland Solid Waste Collection postponed Friday. Garbage will be picked up Saturday.
  • Legoland closed Friday


The following Polk County Shelters will be open:

  • Ridge Community High School
    500 W. Orchid Dr.
  • Alta Vista Elementary (Pet Friendly)
    801 S. Scenic Highway
    Haines City
  • Tenoroc High School
    4905 Saddle Creek Rd.
  • Spook Hill Elementary
    321 Dr. J.A. Wiltshire Ave., E.
    Lake Wales
  • Chain of Lakes Elementary
    7001 CR 653
    Winter Haven

A special needs shelter opened at 8:00 a.m. for those residents with special medical needs. Polk County Emergency Management Special Needs Program is designed to provide shelter and/or transportation for residents with medical or physical conditions and/or dependent on medical electrical equipment who require assistance during an emergency. 

The special needs shelter open is located at:

Polk Co. Health Department
1255 Brice Blvd.


HURRICANE MATTHEW | Sandbag locations



  • Hernando County Transit - TheBus services suspended Friday. Services resumes on Monday.
  • Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department will close Pine Island Park at noon on Thursday. All parks will be closed Friday with the exception of the un-gated Rogers Park, Bayport Park, Jenkins Creek and Hernando Beach boat ramp. All parks are expected to re-open Saturday.

The following Hernando County shelters will be open:

  • Hernando County Emergency Management Officials are announcing the opening of one shelter location. (pet friendly)
  • The Mining Association Enrichment Center shelter is closed.



  • All Pasco schools will be closed on Friday, October 7th due to anticipated high winds from Hurricane Matthew in parts of Pasco County. All after school activities scheduled for Friday are canceled. This includes homecoming football games. 


VIDEO: Hurricane Matthew Info from Pasco County Schools



  • Highlands County Schools - Closed Friday

The Highlands County Board of County Commissioners and its Emergency Operations Center have partially activated their Emergency Support Functions at our Emergency Operation Center, below is a list of actions taken so far:

  • On 10-4-16 a Local Declaration of Emergency was approved by the Board of County Commissioners
  • As of 1:00 pm on 10-5-16 the Emergency line 863-385-1112 will be activated
  • The General Population Shelter and Special needs shelter will be activated as of 10-6-16 at 1:00 PM

The following Highlands County shelters will be open:

  • SEBRING Highlands County Fair Convention Center, 781 Magnolia, Avenue
  • SPECIAL NEEDS, Bert J. Harris Agri-Civic Center, 4509 George Blvd., Sebring



  • Pinellas County Tax Collector's Tarpon Springs and Skyway offices - Closed Friday

The Citizen Information Center is now open until 11 p.m. Residents can call (727) 464-4333 for general information.

The following Pinellas County shelters will be open:

  • Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin
  • Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Clearwater
  • Northside Baptist Church, 6000 38th Avenue North, St. Petersburg



  • Manatee County Schools closed on Friday. All extra-curricular events, sporting events/practices are canceled Thursday & Friday. School After-Care programs will be open as usual Thursday.

Manatee residents with questions about the storm or about local conditions should call Manatee Citizens Information Center at (941) 748-4501.  

The following Manatee County shelters will be open:

  • Manatee High School, 902 33rd St. Ct. W., Bradenton (pet friendly) 
  • Virgil Mills Elementary School, 7200 69th St. E., Palmetto (pet friendly) 
  • Myakka Elementary 37205 Manatee Ave., Myakka City 



  • Orlando International Airport ceasing all commercial operations at 8 p.m. Thursday
  • Wet ‘n Wild will close today at 2 p.m. and remain closed Friday
  • Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk will close today at 5 p.m. and remain closed Friday
  • Halloween Horror Nights is canceled tonight and Friday night
  • Walt Disney World theme parks in Florida will all be closed Thursday by 5 PM through Friday due to Hurricane Matthew


  • Florida - LSU football game scheduled for Saturday has been postponed.