JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Jacksonville city offices and departments will remain open and Duval County Public Schools will be switching to online instruction on Thursday as Tropical Storm Eta heads toward the First Coast.
The storm, which is currently churning in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to move into the Duval County area during that time, with peak hours being 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., though the area will feel impacts throughout the day.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said in a news conference Wednesday night for the area to expect excessive rain, potential flooding in flood-prone areas and moderate-to-high winds for most of Thursday.
Curry said authorities will be on standby in case of downed trees and downed powerlines.
The beaches areas should also anticipate higher tides, rough surf and rip currents, making it a high-risk area.
"Please get out of the water," Curry said. "You're putting yourself and first responders at risk."
At this time, there are no announcements for bridge closures. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said winds have to reach a sustained wind speed of 40 mph in order for a bridge to close.
For DCPS, all classes are switching to Duval HomeRoom "out of caution for our students," said Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene.
Elementary schools should expect 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Secondary classes are going to start at normal times.
Greene said for families that may not have a laptop, they can access email and information via cell phone.
School activities and lunch deliveries are canceled Thursday.
School is expected to go back to normal on Friday, but Greene said the district will post updates on their official website.