Officials keeping an eye on weakened Ernesto, plan to meet today

In anticipation of a possible hit by tropical storm Ernesto, a group of USF officials met late Monday afternoon to discuss a plan of action should the storm hit the Tampa Bay area.

As of 8 p.m. Monday, Ernesto began moving westnorthwest at about 12 mph and had sustained winds of 40 mph.

If it continues along its projected path, the storm should pose no threat to USF or the surrounding area. As such, there are no plans in place to cancel classes or close campus. Further meetings are scheduled for 8:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. today in case any changes in the storm’s path or intensity occur.

USF Media Relations Director Lara Wade stressed that students should check USF’s Web site at for the latest official information regarding the school’s plans. If students are unable to reach the Web site, they can also call USF’s Emergency Preparedness Hotline at 1-800-992-4231.

USF keeps in close contact with the National Hurricane Center and local Emergency Operations Centers when planning storm response, Wade said.