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Butler County public schools closed due to severe weather threat from Hurricane Irma

Butler County Schools will be closed Monday due to Hurricane Irma’s unpredictable path toward landfall near the Gulf Coast.

Butler County Schools superintendent John Strycker made the decision during a special called emergency weather-planning meeting Sunday.

Though data suggested that it would be possible to keep the county’s schools open Monday, Strycker ultimately decided err on the side of caution after discussion with mayor Dexter McLendon, Butler County sheriff Kenny Harden and others.

“Those 20-30 mph winds with buses on the roads, and those roads being wet… I think you can have the potential for an accident,” Harden said.

“It’s better to be on the safe side. We’ve shut down the county before and nothing happened.”

“We’ll call off tomorrow, and if [Strycker] sees the need to do it, he’ll make another decision for Tuesday,” McLendon said.

“But for now, it’s just Monday.”

The City of Greenville plans to resume business as usual Monday with the exception of garbage pickup, which will be handled early and completed by noon.

Greenville residents are urged to put their garbage can out as early and securely as possible for pickup Monday morning.

McLendon said that Monday evening’s planned city council meeting, in which the late councilmember Jeddo Bell’s replacement is to be named, will likely be postponed. A final decision will be made Monday at 7 a.m. at city hall concerning the new time for this week’s council meeting.

“If we’re having 40-50 mph winds tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m., I don’t want people coming up here in all that,” McLendon said.

“This should be a special occasion for this person, and I don’t want us to be worried about whether a tree is going to fall on city hall.”

City officials will make more decisions concerning Hurricane Irma during Monday’s 7 a.m. meeting.