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Friday, December 04, 2020
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Hurricane Eta set to hit Alachua County Wednesday evening, Thursday morning

Image of Eta's projectory
NHC

The storm, with sustained winds of 75 mph, is centered roughly 140 miles southwest of Tampa, and is moving to the northeast as of Wednesday afternoon.

Hurricane Eta, now on trajectory to Alachua County, became a Category 1 hurricane Wednesday morning.  

The storm, with sustained winds of 75 mph, is centered roughly 140 miles southwest of Tampa, and is moving to the northeast as of Wednesday afternoon. It’s expected to make landfall in North Central Florida and the west coast sometime Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

 

Around 4:10 p.m. on Wednesday, UF alerted students and faculty that all online and in-person classes will be canceled Thursday. University offices will also be closed. So far, the university doesn’t plan to postpone Saturday’s football game against the University of Arkansas.

UF had previously advised students and faculty to closely monitor announcements from the university and weather forecasts as Alachua County is currently under a tropical storm watch. 

Alachua County students and residents could expect the storm to bring heavy rainfall, gusty winds, storm surge and isolated tornadoes, according to weather.com meteorologists.

Alachua County Public Schools will keep students and teachers home Thursday. The school district hasn’t yet made a decision for Friday.

The City of Gainesville recommended residents move lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and any other items that could be picked up by wind into their homes.  

The city also has a list of precautions to take during each stage of progression, from pre-hurricane preparation to when a hurricane watch is called. 

All city offices and buildings will be closed Thursday, the release said. RTS bus services will be out of service when winds reach 35 mph.

Residents can reach Gainesville Regional Utilities at (352)-334-2871 to report power outages and (352)-334-2550 to report natural gas emergencies. No hurricane shelters are expected to open as of Wednesday morning, and there are no mandatory evacuation orders. 

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Alachua County Public Schools will keep students and teachers home Thursday. The school district hasn’t yet made a decision for Friday.

Hurricane Eta caused devastating floods to Central America, namely Guatemala and Honduras. Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in Honduras was completely flooded, and one landslide in Guatemala reportedly killed at least 100 people.

Update: this article has been updated to reflect that Thursday classes were canceled and university offices will be closed.

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