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Gilchrist County Closes Schools With Tropical Storm Hermine Closing In

With Tropical Storm Hermine looming in the Gulf of Mexico, Gilchrist County decided to close its schools Thursday and Friday.

As the storm moves towards Florida, Gilchrist County officials met Wednesday to discuss preparations for the impending storm.

“Right now, we don’t know what the track of the storm is exactly going to be like. We just want everyone to be aware,” Chief Deputy Jeff Manning said.

The decision to close the schools is due to the impending weather that is set to hit on Thursday, according to Manning. Government offices will close Thursday at noon and will also be closed on Friday.

All school-related activities, including practices and games, for Thursday have been cancelled. A decision has not been made about the Bell High School versus Trenton High School football game. Sherry Lindsey, Bell High School principal, said a decision will be made Friday morning about whether to play the game.

Bell High School will be used as a shelter for special needs people in both Gilchrist and Dixie County, according to County Manager Bobby Crosby.

The shelter will open Thursday at 8 a.m. The school will use its health academy staffed by the local health department and will be able to handle any medical needs.

Gilchrist County has not decided if it will issue sandbags to residents in the area. A decision will be made Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. and announced on the county’s Facebook page. Sand was delivered in preparation of the announcement.

Crosby advises residents to monitor their local news as well as the county’s Facebook page and website for updates on the storm.

“Everyone needs to stay alert and be cognizant of what is going on. You never know what is going to happen with these storms,” Manning said.

Lindsey is a reporter for WUFT News. She can be reached at news@wuft.org or 352-392-6397.