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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As Tropical Storm Hermine gains strength in the Gulf, residents and businesses in central and northern Florida are getting ready for her arrival.

Hermine is expected to gain hurricane strength before making landfall. Its outer bans have already dumped several inches of rain on the Gulf coast, including the Tampa area.

Thursday morning Busch Gardens in Tampa tweeted out that they would not be opening due to the storm.


Florida State University in Tallahassee, which is in the center of Hermine’s forecast cone, announced that they were cancelling classes as of noon Thursday and there would be no classes on Friday. Tallahassee has not had a direct hit by hurricane in 30 years.

The University of Florida said all classes would be canceled and their offices would be closing at 4 p.m. They would resume operations Saturday morning.

Governor Rick Scott directed all state offices in 51 counties in the middle and upper portions of the state to close Thursday at noon.

“Our employees work very hard and their safety is of the utmost importance,” said Scott in a statement.

The Florida Supreme Court announced its offices and the First District Court of Appeal would close at noon on Thursday and remain closed Friday.

Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the warning area beginning Thursday night. Winds are expected to first reach tropical storm strength by the afternoon.

Hermine is expected to produce up to 10 inches of rain portions of northwest Florida and southern Georgia through Friday, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches.