After a winter weather advisory was issued National Weather Service for Alachua County, government offices and schools have already decided to change hours or close due to the weather.
UF spokesperson John Hines, said the university is continuing to monitor weather conditions, but will remain open tomorrow and Thursday. He said classes are still set to start on Monday.
Florida State University sent an alert to students saying it would close campus Wednesday until 5 p.m., citing severe winter weather.
Alachua County Public Schools will close Wednesday and Thursday and reopen Friday, spokesperson Jackie Johnson said. Students will possibly make up for the days on June 4th and 5th, according to a tweet from the school system.
Alachua County said its government offices, the Alachua County Property Appraiser, Health Department in Alachua County and Supervisor of Elections offices will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. The Tax Collector will open at 10 a.m., but has not decided when they will close as of press time.
County spokesperson Mark Sexton said the situation is fluid and, if conditions worsen, the county will close their offices.
Grace Marketplace, located at 3055 NE 28th Ave. and St. Francis House, located at 413 S. Main St., opened earlier Tuesday night to take in people who are in need of shelter during the freezing weather conditions, said Chip Skinner, a city spokesperson.
He said the cold weather shelter program opened over the weekend and “gets people out of the elements.”
“(Winter shelters) are not open every night, just those nights that are going to be extremely cold,” he said.
A woman who answered the office phone at Grace Marketplace said they are taking individuals all day. She said there is no maximum and anyone can come on a winter night. She said breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
Skinner urged individuals to go to Grace Marketplace if they were looking to take shelter.
Kent Vann, the director of St. Francis House, said the shelter is more than tripling the number of beds available, offering 95.
The county will give about $25,000 to help pay for some of the costs for helping run St. Francis House during winter nights where the temperature goes 45 degrees or below, Vann said.
He said the shelter normally opens at 8 p.m., but with freezing weather conditions, it could possibly be opened earlier.
Food, blankets, beds, clothing, hygiene products and essential services like showers, laundry, telephone and fax will be provided, Vann said. A snack meal will be provided tonight as well as breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner.
Vann said the shelter’s first priority is families and children but will take individuals if there is room. He said people are allowed to stay in the shelter during the day.
“If it’s a freeze warning, we would open earlier and take people in throughout the night,” Vann said. “Anything that would be a loss of life is what we’re preventing.”
- Alachua County Public Schools
- The Arc of Alachua County, located at 3303 NW 83rd St.
- Alachua County Property Appraiser- Wed. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Health Department in Alachua County- Wed. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Supervisor of Elections- Wed. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Alachua County government- Wed. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m and Thurs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tax Collector- Wed. 10 a.m. to a closing time that is unknown, as of press time
Contact Christina Morales at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Christina_M18
J.R. Wallace, manager at Copper Monkey, walks along Alligator Alley where a puddle filled with ice created by below-freezing weather.