Hurricane Idalia Updates: Tampa, Sarasota-Manatee classes to resume on Thursday

The USF St. Pete campus will remain closed on Thursday, with all business operations and classes canceled until Friday, according to a universitywide email. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

Classes and normal business operations will resume on Thursday at the Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses, while USF St. Pete will remain closed, according to a universitywide email sent out Wednesday afternoon. 

The St. Pete campus is expected to reopen and resume classes on Friday, but a final decision will be announced on Thursday, according to the email. 

USF Health downtown will resume operations on Thursday, according to the email.

Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall in Florida’s Big Bend on Wednesday morning as a category 3 hurricane, caused an estimated 2 to 4 feet storm surge in the Tampa Bay area

There are no details on the extent the storm surge affected USF campuses at the time of publication. 

Though the Sarasota-Manatee campus will reopen Thursday, the Mote Marine Laboratory will remain closed, according to the email.

Only essential personnel or those deemed to be critical to campus operations will report to work at the St. Pete campus. 

Residence halls at St. Pete will also remain closed pending “a thorough assessment by USF staff and evacuation orders being lifted in Pinellas County,” according to the email. Updates on housing will be sent to residential students directly and as soon as possible. 

Students who evacuated the area and are not able to return to classes on the Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses should notify their instructors, who have been asked to remain “patient and understanding with their students and staff during these unique circumstances,” according to the email.