Florida schools, colleges shut down as storm approaches

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As Tropical Storm Elsa barrels towards Florida, schools on the west coast of the state made the decision to shut down on Tuesday.

According to the Florida Department of Education, eight counties along the Gulf Coast closed K-12 schools, including those in Hillsborough, Pasco and Charlotte counties. Paso and Hillsborough schools will also remain closed on Wednesday.

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All Duval County Public Schools student-related summer programs have also been canceled on Wednesday as Jacksonville braces for the impact of Tropical Storm Elsa, the district announced.

Five colleges along the west coast of Florida are also shutting down Tuesday: Florida SouthWestern State College, Hillsborough Community College, New College of Florida, State College of Florida and St. Petersburg College. Some of the schools will continue to hold classes online.

FDOE said it will continue to provide updates on school closures on its website.

The University of Florida announced Tuesday it will also cancel classes and cease all non-essential campus operations Wednesday. All special events have also been canceled and UF said it will resume normal operations Thursday.