Marion, Lake and Sumter close schools due to Elsa

Schools will reopen Thursday

Lake County Schools offering free COVID-19 vaccines to school nurses, other employees
Lake County Schools offering free COVID-19 vaccines to school nurses, other employees

Three Central Florida school districts will close campuses Wednesday as Hurricane Elsa is expected to bring high winds, heavy rains and possible tornados to the area.

Marion, Lake and Sumter school districts announced students and staff would be asked to stay home Wednesday. All three school districts plan to resume normal operations on Thursday. Elsa was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane Tuesday night then back to a tropical storm early Wednesday morning.

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“We have been working closely with Lake County’s Office of Emergency Management in monitoring Tropical Storm Elsa over the last few days,” Lake County Schools wrote in a statement. “Because forecasts call for high winds, heavy rains and possible tornadoes in Lake County tomorrow morning, we are advising students and staff to stay home and stay safe. We expect to return to normal operations on Thursday, July 8.”

Marion County Public Schools Public Relations manager Kevin Christian said all schools will close Wednesday due to impacts from the storm and reopen Thursday. Marion County also plans to close several government buildings.

Summer school classes for Sumter District School students will be closed Wednesday. Additionally, there will be no remote food distribution for Wednesday.

“We do plan to resume summer school and food distribution on Thursday, July 8, 2021,” Sumter County School Board executive Secretary Marla Babauta said. “However, the Sumter County School Board will continue to monitor the storm. Should conditions change we will be sure to send further updates and information will be posted on our website, and/or communicated through our call out system, school signs and TV/Radio media outlets.”

Suntran in Ocala will not have service from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Wells Fargo banks in Ocala will not open until noon on Wednesday.

Marion and Sumter counties both remain under tropical storm warnings as of Tuesday morning. Lake is under a tropical storm watch.

For the latest models and track on Elsa, click here.