Durham Public Schools will close early Thursday and remain shut down through the weekend due to Hurricane Florence, school officials announced Tuesday.
Students will be released three hours early on Thursday. After-school activities have also been canceled Thursday through Sunday, and plans are in the works to open shelters at select Durham schools for residents that need them.
And how likely is it that the closures will extend beyond the weekend? It’s too early to know the strength and impact of the storm, but many Durham residents tracking Florence have noted its similarity to Hurricane Fran, a Category 3 storm that brought 79 mph winds to the Raleigh-Durham area in September 1996.
Durham public schools closed for six days following Fran, according to archived reports from The News & Observer. School officials later adjusted that year’s calendar to add five and a half make-up days in November and January, including a few days during winter break.
Durham officials are encouraging families and staff to prepare emergency kits and monitor the district’s website and social media for further updates and announcements. Durham residents can sign up to receive personal emergency notifications at alertdurham.com.