All Florida public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will be closed through Monday, Gov. Rick Scott ordered late Thursday.
With Hurricane Irma continuing its track toward Florida, and many residents fleeing, Scott announced the closures Thursday night in an effort to provide local and state emergency officials flexibility needed for shelters and emergency response efforts, according to a news release.
“Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging,” Scott said in an issued statement. “Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate.”
Schools in Manatee County had already been ordered closed Friday in order to prepare shelters for those under the voluntary evacuation order issued for those living in Zone A and mobile homes.
“Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts,” Scott said.