Bay Area schools close despite minimal impacts from Dorian

Hurricane Dorian might end up having a minimal impact on the Tampa Bay region, but several school districts will remain closed for a day or two after Labor Day.

View ongoing updates from Hillsborough County as Hurricane Dorian impacts Florida.

Schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando counties are closed Tuesday. The Highlands and Polk County school districts will remain closed through Wednesday.

Hillsborough schools spokesperson Grayson Kamm said the decision was made last week out of an abundance of caution.

"We made that decision back on Friday to give our families and our staff enough time to plan. They've made plans already to stay out of town, to extend Labor Day vacations," Kamm told FOX 13. "If only 10 percent of our 24,000 employees couldn't get back in time, we'd be looking at trying to open schools short 2,400 employees and that's just not workable."

Kamm said, according to state guidelines, buses should be operating in wind speeds greater than 35 miles an hour.

Despite some parents questioning whether the decision was made too early, Kamm said district leaders believe they made the correct call with the information it had.

"You have to go with what your emergency operations folks are telling you and what's ultimately going to be the safest, smartest decision," he said.

To help ease the child care burden on families, Hillsborough County and Tampa parks officials decided to open dozens of community centers that will offer free camp days from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday. Several public pools will also open at noon.

Manatee and Sarasota County schools, however, announced Monday schools will be open and operating under a normal schedule the rest of the week.