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Hurricane Idalia aftermath in the Tampa Bay area + reopenings

Here’s when schools and Tampa International are reopening, plus other local updates.

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The Tampa Riverwalk submerged on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Photo via the @cityoftampa

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The Tampa Bay area was thankfully spared the brunt of Hurricane Idalia, which touched down in Florida’s Big Bend on Wednesday. But, our area did see wind damage, heavy rainfall, and severe flooding (here’s a peek), caused by storm surge and king tides.

Here’s a few updates for your Thursday:

Flooding

County leaders have advised residents to avoid flood waters, as they can contain debris, snakes, and hide exposed power lines. Check Tampa flooding in real time.

Search and rescue efforts are underway in Pinellas County to help those affected by the flooding. St. Pete reported Wednesday afternoon that so far, more than 75 people were rescued from high water.

Was your home flooded? The Tampa Bay Times put together some tips for residents.

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A flooded street in St. Pete’s Old Northeast neighborhood on Wednesday morning after the storm.

Photo by @thetbaytoday

Hillsborough + Pinellas County Schools

Both school districts reopen today. Hillsborough will excuse storm-related absences, saying “if any of our students can’t get to school due to damage/flooding at their homes, or roadways that are not passable, we ask you to contact your child’s school in the morning.”

Pinellas will also excuse absences due to weather-related circumstances.

Duke Energy and TECO

Thousands of people lost power during the storm — 23,000 Duke Energy customers reported outages in Pinellas County + 4,000 TECO customers reported outages mostly in the Lutz and Town ‘N County areas, according to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

A reminder: You can report outages with TECO and with Duke online.

Tampa International Airport

TPA began accepting arriving flights yesterday afternoon, and fully reopened at 3 a.m. this morning. The airport experienced some flooding, but that didn’t impact the runways, according to a release.

Leaders say they are expecting a high number of passengers, and urge travelers to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departure.

Debris pickup

Tampa residents can place any storm debris at their curbside — the storm-related vegetative debris collection will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to the city. Make sure to either to place your limbs, leaves, and such in bundles, piles, or in a containe and not a plastic bag.

In St. Pete, residents can place any vegetative debris (think: tree limbs or leaves) in your trash can. The city’s brush sites are also open (except for the 1000 62nd Ave. NE location, due to flooding) for those to wish to drop off theirs off. Residents can report downed trees and other storm-related issues to the Citizen Information Center by calling 727-893-7111 or online.

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