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FGCU cancels classes through Wednesday as Florida prepares for Irma’s arrival

FGCU will remain closed to faculty and students until at least Wednesday, Sept. 13, university spokeswoman Susan Evans said in an email Saturday morning.

The university plans to open on Thursday, however, that decision is subject to change.

The State turned Alico Arena into a public shelter around 10 a.m. Residential students will be taken to Eagle Hall in Sovi for shelter.

Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered all public schools, state colleges and state universities to close Friday through Monday.

Scott said in a statement Thursday:

“Today, I am directing the closure of all public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices for their normal activities effective Friday through Monday, to ensure we have every space available for sheltering and staging. Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate. Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.”

Effective immediately, all classes, business operations and events are closed, and students will be notified when the university will reopen, university spokeswoman Susan Evans said in an email Thursday.

In a 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Irma is moving west at 9 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph.

Irma is predicted to land on south Florida as a catastrophic category 4 or 5 hurricane early Sunday.

According to the National Hurricane Center, South Florida will begin to feel Irma’s effects by Saturday afternoon, with winds reaching above 40 mph. Wind speeds will increase as Irma makes landfall, with some areas facing winds of 100 mph and over.

Isolated tornadoes and flash floods are also in the realm of possibility, as Irma’s bands slowly approach Florida, according to the National Weather Service.

FGCU Police Chief Steven Moore will continue to notify students on weather conditions and university updates.

Check back with Eagle News for updates.

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