With the threat of Hurricane Michael looming and much of the Midlands under a tropical storm warning, some Columbia-area schools opted to cancel classes.
All Richland and Lexington county school districts announced Wednesday that they would be closing Thursday, according to a statement from the district.
Both Richland County school districts’ closures include all district offices and after-school programs. School is expected to resume Friday.
Lexington Two and also closed offices and school activities.
Lexington One, Lexington Three, Lexington Four and Lexington Richland Five canceled all meetings scheduled to take place at schools, the performing arts centers, fields or facilities, according to the statement. That includes all athletic events and extracurricular.
The Columbia-area should expect to begin feeling the effects of Michael early Thursday morning, according to forecasters at the National Weather Service. The height of hurricane activity will begin Thursday between 11 a.m. and noon, they added.
Other Midlands schools made the decision to close early Tuesday afternoon. Schools in Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg, Sumter, Newberry and Orangeburg counties have announced plans to close Thursday.
Local schools waited until Hurricane Michael neared touch down on Florida’s panhandle and Gov. Henry McMaster extended the state of emergency in South Carolina.
Lexington and Richland School District Five sent out a statement Tuesday saying the district was monitoring the storm and waiting to make a decision. The district did cancel Thursday athletic events, though.