The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is closing several additional locations in its Bay Pines system in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.
The department is closing its St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Bradenton VA Clinics, starting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and lasting through Friday. The Sebring VA Clinic will also be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
The VA is also extending the closures of facilities such as the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center, which will be closed Monday through Friday, including its Emergency Department. The North Pinellas VA Clinic will also be closed through Friday.
The Lee County Healthcare Center, and the Naples and Port Charlotte VA Clinics will be closed through Thursday.
The VA announced that the scope of these closures may change as more information comes on the impact of the storm.
“Out of an abundance of caution, and for the safety of our Veterans and staff, I have made the decision to adjust the closures of our facilities,” said Paul M. Russo, Bay Pines VA CEO. “We will continue to monitor the trajectory of Hurricane Ian and adjust accordingly. As soon as the storm has passed, we will assess the impact to our facilities and reopen when it is safe to do so.”
In addition to the system’s outlying clinics, the following areas on the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center will be closed until Friday:
— The St. Petersburg Regional Office will be closed for face-to-face appointments. If there is internet connectivity, veterans can visit VA VERA (force.com) to schedule virtual appointments
— The MidFlorida Credit Union
— The Bay Pines National Cemetery. No visitations will be allowed during this time
The VA is encouraging individuals to ensure they are prepared for the storm, noting wide uncertainty in the storm’s current projected path. Individuals can obtain information to ensure they are hurricane ready at the VA’s Emergency Preparedness webpage.