Eyeing the storm

The threat of wind and heavy rain from tropical storm Ernesto has caused the closing and rescheduling of some classes at two of USF’s satellite campuses.

Because the storm’s projected path had it sweeping through the Polk/Highlands region as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the decision was made to cancel USF classes held at South Florida Community College in Avon Park and relocate classes normally taught at Lakeland High School to the USF Lakeland campus.

The Tampa campus is expected to be unaffected by the storm, and thus will remain open. Unless canceled by professors, all classes are scheduled to be held at their normal times and locations.

According to Media Relations Director Lara Wade, the closures and scheduling changes are being enacted because the locations where the classes are held are being shut down. USF has no say in the decision.

Students, faculty and staff who live in the affected areas are expected to “abide by their county’s emergency operations officials,” Wade said. “(USF) can’t make personal decisions for everyone; they’re going to have to make decisions based on their own safety and concerns.”

Local forecasts for today call for occasional high winds and heavy rains in the afternoon, but “no dangerous weather is expected in the Tampa Bay area,” according to Hillsborough County’s Web site.

Updates regarding tropical storm Ernesto or other tropical systems can be obtained on USF’s homepage at http://www.usf.edu or by calling USF’s Information Hotline at 1-800-992-4231.