USF’s main campus in Tampa will remain open Tuesday as Tropical Storm Fay’s heads toward the Bay area.
Most events on campus are cancelled, however, including freshmen orientation and all USF Continuing Education classes.
All USF regional campus will close because of individual circumstances, said Vice President of Communications Michael Hoad. USF administrators consulted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s discussions and predictions to make their decisions.
USF Polytechnic will be closed because it is physically connected to Polk Community College, which is expected to become a shelter, he said. USF Sarasota-Manatee will be closed because they share administrative functions with New College and it is expected to close. Sarasota is also closer to where the storm is predicted to land. USF St. Petersburg will close because it is in a flood zone.
“(Closing the regional campuses is) almost not even a decision,” Hoad said.
USF Tampa will remain open because the storm will not be strong enough to warrant its closure, he said. The University, however, will continue to evaluate the situation as time passes.
“We don’t know what level of storm it will be by tomorrow or precisely where it will be, but we’re not expecting tropical storm conditions (Tuesday) morning,” he said. “We’ll know an awful lot more overnight.”
The NOAA’s National Weather Service, however, is predicting that Tampa might get the worst of the storm Tuesday afternoon.
“It will be moving up through west central Florida into tomorrow evening,” said Meteorologist John McMichael. “We are expecting to see the weather deteriorate rapidly over tonight into tomorrow night.”
The Tampa bay area is expected to get three to six inches of rainfall over the next 48 hours, McMichael said, and heavy rain is expected to start tonight.
Although the University is scheduled to be open tomorrow, Hoad suggests that any student coming on campus Tuesday should call ahead to make sure it’s still open, as a precaution.
USF’s information hotline is 1-800-992-4231.
For more information regarding USF’s emergency plan, click here.