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Monday 18 September 2017

CERT Update - FEMA Assistance

Subject: What To Expect When You Register For FEMA Disaster Assistance

From Polk County Commissioners


Contact:       Kevin Watler, Communications Specialist, PCFR PIO
What To Expect When You Register For FEMA Disaster Assistance
Bartow, Fla. (September 18, 2017) — Polk County residents who experienced property damage or loss directly caused by Hurricane Irma can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance, even if the property is insured. Homeowners and renters may qualify. 
Residents may register for assistance by visiting Alternatively, the following toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (EST) seven days a week until further notice:
·       Call 800-621-3362
·       People who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 800-462-7585
·       For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362
FEMA assistance for individuals may include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to their primary residences, as well as funding for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical, dental or funeral costs. If you have insurance, FEMA may still be able to assist with disaster-related expenses that were underinsured or not covered by your policy.
After you apply, a FEMA inspector will contact you to schedule an inspection. The inspection generally takes 30-40 minutes or less and consists of a general verification of your disaster-related losses and a review of ownership or residence records. There is no fee for the inspection.
When a FEMA housing inspector comes to visit your home, be sure they show you proper identification. All FEMA inspectors have prominent photo identification badges. If you suspect someone is posing as a FEMA housing inspector, call our toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or call local law enforcement officials.
Once the inspection process is complete, your situation will be reviewed by FEMA. You will receive a letter by email or physical mail, depending on your preference, which outlines the decision about your claim.
Know that you may receive a visit from more than one inspector throughout the recovery process. In addition to FEMA housing inspectors, representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, state and local officials and inspectors for private insurance coverage also visit neighborhoods in affected areas.
What is the inspection process?
If you do not have insurance to cover your disaster related damages, an inspection is required to process your application. An inspector will contact you to make an appointment to visit your property within 10 to 14 days after you apply. For complete information about the inspection process, go to to find more information about the inspection process.
The inspector will assess disaster related damage for your real and personal property. There is no fee for the inspection. Inspectors are contractors, not FEMA employees, but your inspector will have picture identification.
It is not required that you be present for the inspection. You can make arrangements with the inspector for someone else to accompany the inspector in your absence, either a relative or friend over 18 years of age. Please be sure your phone/contact information is current.
Inspectors file your report but do not determine your eligibility. The inspector usually looks at the damaged areas of the home and records that information in the computer as part of the inspection process. There may be times when photos of the undamaged areas are helpful in regards to the overall safety and livability of the home. Inspectors will maintain personal safety and will not enter unsafe areas of the home.
Have these items ready and in a place where you will easily find:
·       Owners: Proof of ownership (your deed, tax records, mortgage payment book, or a copy of your dwelling’s insurance policy for the address, showing you as the owner)
·       Owners and renters: Proof of occupancy (recent utility bills in your name at that address, your driver’s license address, any first-class government mail sent to you within the last 3 months at that address, or recent utility bills in your name at that address) and insurance policies
·       Renters only: Lease agreement
For more recovery information visit FEMA’s Hurricane Irma web page at

Saturday 16 September 2017

One More CERT Update from Polk County

Good Morning to All,

As part of the recovery phase of Hurricane Irma several PODs (points of distribution) have been opened throughout Polk County.  Attached is the updated report from this morning which lists all the POD sites.  Please pass this information on to anyone who may need these resources.  Any CERT teams that wish to assist at these sites feel free to do so.  Be sure you check in with the director at the POD location to track your hours and also turn in your hours to the CERT office as usual.  Again thank you for all you have done to assist your community during this time. 

Stay Safe,

Kathy Drainville
Public Education Officer
Polk County Fire Rescue
1295 Brice Blvd
Bartow, Florida 33830
Office: 863-534-CERT (2378)

Thursday 14 September 2017

Power is up at LPV and another update from CERT

I just received an e-mail from Bruce Carpenter who says power has been restored to LPV!  - Rich Gibbons

Link to

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Two new updates through Rich Gibbons from TECO and The Ledger

Below is a statement on the TECO power outage from their website.  The customers affected in the Mulberry area is down from over 10,000 to 6,438. They are predicting that everybody will have service restored by midnight on Sunday the 17th

Rick Gibbons

We are estimating that essentially all customers will be back in service by the end of this weekend. Due to the magnitude of the storm and the significant rebuilding of the system required, some customers may take longer to restore.
To restore service safely, efficiently and as quickly as possible, restoration efforts must be completed in a systematic manner. We give emphasis to public safety, law enforcement and essential services, as well as working outages that impact the largest numbers of customers. If smaller outages can be completed quickly, those are worked too. Smaller and more complex outages will take longer to restore.
We have over 280,000 man hours of work to repair the damage to get customers back in service. We understand customers are looking for specific restoration information to plan and we will work to provide that information as restoration progresses and further damage is assessed.
Power out?
Choose from any of these convenient options to let us know:
  • Enroll in, and report your outage with one click.
  • Report your outage online.
  • Sign up for Power Updates through Once you're signed up, you can text OUT to 35069 to report future outages or UPDATE for updates.
  • Call 1-877-588-1010 to report your outage at any time.

Percentage of customers with power


LPV CERT: Forward from the Ledger 9/13/2017

Two generator incidents send 4 to hospitals; after-storm and cleanup dangers surround us   By Marilyn Meyer   Posted Sep 12, 2017 at 10:53 PM
  Two Lake Alfred residents were in serious to critical condition and two southwest Lakeland residents were in fair condition Tuesday after separate incidents of exposure to carbon-monoxide gas coming off generators set up in garages.
Polk County Fire Rescue responded to the two incidents Tuesday morning and took the four people to area hospitals, said Kevin Watler, communications specialists for Polk County Fire Rescue. He did not know to which hospitals the four were taken.
“The two hospitalized from Lake Alfred were discovered by co-workers after employees didn’t show up for work,” Watler said.
In both incidents, the generators were in enclosed garages, he said.“Portable generators are useful during power outages, but improper use can be risky,” Watler said.
Running the generators produces carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless gas that you cannot see.
In enclosed spaces, the gas can build up very quickly, according to the Florida Department of Health, which warns if you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away, don’t delay by opening windows or turning on fans to ventilate the enclosure.
Here is what you should know• Generators and gas grills should be operated in well-ventilated locations, outdoors, away from all doors, windows and vent openings.
• Never use a generator or gas grill in an attached garage, even with the door open.
• Place generators so that exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through windows, doors or other openings in the building.
• Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
Other dangers associated with portable generators include electrical shock, electrocution and fire hazards.
• Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is running.
• Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled. Store the containers outside of living areas. Propane tanks should also be turned off when not in use and stored outdoors.
Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system without a licensed electrician providing a means to connect. Improper wiring creates the danger of back feeding the power system, energizing downed lines and fatally electrocuting anyone who contacts those lines.
Other dangers:  There are many other dangers that can sicken people or send them to hospital emergency departments and urgent care centers during the cleanup period following a major storm.
To help prevent injuries, infections and disease, here is a compilation of tips from Lakeland Regional Health and officials from other local utility, public health and fire departments.
Minimize water use: Until the county returns to full power, it is important to minimize water usage to prevent and reduce the risk of sewer system backups in homes.
Lakeland Regional Health officials recommend limiting use of dishwashers, sinks, washing machines, showers and toilets (flush solid waste but reduce flushing of urine).
In addition, Polk County Utilities recommends hand-washing clothing if you can, rather than using the washing machine, shortening showers or bathing on alternative days and using hand sanitizers when possible rather than washing hands.
Downed power lines: Look for downed power lines in your area, and remember they may be concealed by flood waters or fallen debris.
Lakeland Electric adds: Do not try to move them out of the way, even with “insulated” materials. Do not drive over them.
Standing water: All standing water is considered dirty and contaminated with germs, so stay out of it, Lakeland Regional Health officials warn. Avoid contact with your mouth and skin, especially if you have any skin breaks. Wash with soap and clean water after exposure.
It is impossible to know how deep the water is, or whether dangerous debris is hidden beneath the surface. In addition, standing water may contain snakes and other wild animals in distress. Bites may need immediate medical attention.
Drinking water: If your drinking-water well is underwater, assume it may be contaminated until the water recedes and you complete the decontamination process, according to Lakeland Regional Health officials. Boil water at a rolling boil for one minute to ensure safety for drinking and cooking.
If you are in an area without power and have received a boil water notice, Polk County Public Utilities advises you can disinfect the tap water by adding eight drops, about one-eighth of a teaspoon, of unscented household bleach per gallon of water and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy, repeat. Keep the cap on the container or keep it covered.
Cooking: The Lakeland Fire Department warns that propane gas cooking canisters, gas grills and charcoal barbecue grills need to be used outdoors and not in a garage or other partially enclosed space.
Other tips from Lakeland Regional Health officials include:
Traffic lights: If a traffic light is out or possible malfunctioning, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. Drive only when absolutely necessary.
Trees: When cutting down damaged tree limbs, be aware limbs are heavier and more dangerous than they appear. Chainsaws should only be used if in good working order and by those familiar with the potential dangers.
Using open flames: Be careful when using candles to light your home, especially if you have small children or pets. Never leave an open flame unattended (don’t fall asleep when a candle is burning) or near any flammable materials.
Gas Lines: Report the smell of gas (“rotten egg”) by calling 911, open windows and leave the area.  If there is an emergency situation, the emergency departments at all Polk County hospitals are operating normally and most urgent care centers have reopened.

Monday 11 September 2017

Couple of more updates from Rich and Pam

I just cc’d you and Frank on what is likely our last report to Polk County EOC.  The Team has performed our damage assessment operation and it is remarkable how little damage we have sustained. The people we have talked with are only complaining about the lack of power.  I have cell comms with the team but texts and e-mail and calls are going through at a very retarded rate because of high traffic volume.  All in all we have been very fortunate.  BTW. I sent a message out several days ago to Ignore JOSE because it would not come close to the US Mainland.

LPV Mulberry @ 1010 hrs 9/11/2017

RPTD by TL Pamela Hanvik via Mobile to DC Rick Gibbons

Initial Damage assessment complete.

No injuries reported to the Team by many of the LPV residents we have spoken with. None anticipated.

Some minor damages to homes but all are habitable.

Only discomfort is lack of power.

One aluminum light pole broken at the base and leaning against a tree in vicinity of 288 & 311 Lake Erie Dr & the bocce ball court.  Area has been surround with caution tape and traffic rerouted. LPV park manager will report to TECO and understands this is low priority.

An apparent telephone or CATV junction box is laying on the ground at 313 Lake Erie Dr. (low priority)

Weather is improving with no rain and sun from time to time.

Unlikely we will issue additional reports at this time unless requested.

Preliminary Update from Rich Gibbons and Pam Hanvick

From Lake Pointe Village / Mulberry

I have just had cell comms with my TL Pamela Hanvick and she asked me to prepare this preliminary report.

No injuries reported among LPV residents.

No major structural damage observed in quick golf cart rides along our Red and Blue observation routes.

No road blockages.

No electrical power but we do have mobile and text services although texts are slow to send and receive.

Some small trees and signs down.

Some siding, shutters, and aluminum damage, but all classified as relatively minor.

No reports of flooding or high water.

Polk County Sheriffs 2 more updates

7:00 am

How about some more damage reports? The following list is not a complete list. There is more to come, unfortunately. Our deputies have been identifying, and the public has been reporting, significant tree damage, road blockage, and flooding. Please be very careful on roadways around the county. Exercise good judgement. Watch out for downed power lines. Be safe out there!
· Trees - Winter Lake between Combee Rd and Landfill
· Lines – Deen Still and Hwy 33 @
· Trees – Detour Rd and Hatchinhea Rd
· Trees – Kokomo Rd @ Greenleaf Estates, subdivision not accessible
· Trees – Pine Forest Dr @ Pine Forest Cir
· Trees – 17/92 @ Hibiscus, Haines City
· Lines – North Blvd and King Ham Rd
· Trees/Lines – WB Hwy 60 between Marietta and S. 9th St.
· Trees/Lines – Davenport Blvd west of Largo Vista Crt
· Trees – 3234 Spirit Lake Rd
· Trees/Lines – Saddlecreek Rd and Old Dixie Hwy.
· Trees – Old Dixie Hwy and Sand Mountain Loop Rd
· Trees – Ave D NW and 34th St NW
· Trees – Wabash & W. Parker
· Trees – Old Dade City Rd & Rockridge Rd
· Lines – New Tamps Hwy @ Twin Pines MHP
· Flooding – Harrelson Ave and Knight Station Rd
· Lines – Swindell Rd south of Walker Rd
· Road debris – I4 from Hwy 27 to Hwy 559
· Trees – Hwy 559, 1 mile south of I4
· Trees – 17/92 & Hibiscus
· Trees – Hwy 544, ½ mile west of Brice Grove Rd near curve
· Trees on lines – 6042 Spirit Lake Rd
· Lines – 17/92 @ Summit Ave East
· Flooding (rising water) – 7550 Hwy 630 East, Frostproof
· Lines – Scenic Hwy @ Hwy 630, Frostproof
· Trees – Mammoth Grove Rd & Capps Rd
· Trees – Bailey Rd & Davis Rd
· Lines/Trees – Berkley Rd south of Pace Rd
· Trees – Crystal Beach Rd between Thornhill and Grady Polk Rd
· Trees – Lake St & Hwy 27, Lake Hamilton
· Trees – Temple Cir South and Temple Cir West, Auburndale
· Trees – Hwy 559 @ James Place
· Lines – Johnson Ave East between Powerline Rd and Midway MHP
· Power Pole – 5130 Crystal Beach Rd
· Trees – Adams Barnes Rd & Stargrass Cir
· Trees – Imperial Lane near Oakmont & Yarborough
· House damage at 3415 Imperial Lane. Deputies responded and residents are s77
· Lines – Pine St & Sabal Palm Dr, Mulberry
· Trees – Scenic Hwy & Lake Easy Ln
· Trees/Lines – Spring Lane & Old Gov’t Rd
· Trees/Lines – Boyscout Rd and Black Walnut Dr
· Trees – Crews Lake Dr & Waker Glenn Dr
· Traffic Signal – Hwy 540 W & Thornhill Rd
· Traffic Signal – Spirit Lake Rd & Coleman Rd
· Trees – Hwy 542 E and Josh Reynolds Rd
· Traffic signal – Hwy 555 & Hwy 60 (County notified)
· Trees – Old Tampa Hwy and Trenton Rd
· Trees – 1440 Kathleen Rd
· Lines – Snively Rd between 7th and 8th
· Power Line Blocking Entrance at William MHP off Hwy 17/92 Haines City
· Tree Blocking Entrance at Hwy 27 and Ridgewood Lakes Blvd
· 2- Trees Blocking CR 544 and Greenleaf Haines City
· Power Line in Roadway at Tangerine Road and Monroe Lane Lake Hamilton
· Tree Down West Hwy 17/92 and Fletcher Fish Camp Road
· Tree Down at Hwy 27 North of Central
· Tree Down at Lake Alfred Road and Lynchburg Winter Haven
· Tree Down at Coleman Road and Cinnamon Drive
· Broken Power Pole and Lines Down at Hardin South of Ariana
· Tree Debris at 630 West from Hwy 60 WB
· Tree Debris at Recker Hwy and 542
· Tree Debris at Friedlander and Judy Street Lake Wales
· Tree Debris at Raulerson and Kathleen Road
· Tree Debris at Walt Williams Road and Sherwood Lakes Blvd
· Tree Debris w/Power Lines ½ Mile West of Aburndale Speedway on 542
· Transformer at Hwy 27 and Access Road
· Tree Debris at Polk City Road and Edna Holiday Drive
· Tree Debris at Polk City Road and Lake Lowry Road
· Tree Debris at 4340 Old Polk City Road
· Pole Down at Old Polk City Road and Hay Market Drive
· Tree Debris and Cable at Mariana Road and Stripling Drive Aburndale
· Tree Debris at Intaeriachen and Buena Vista Lake Alfred
· Down Pole at 3331 Masterpiece Road
· Tree Debris at Kathleen Road and Raulerson Road
· Down Pole/Pole Hanging at Hwy 27 and 544
· Tree Debris at Hwy 37 South of 640 South of Mulberry
· Per CSX, Railroad Arms Snapped #627832-C at Kathleen Road and Old Kathleen Road
· Traffic Light Hanging at Winter Lake Road and Spirit Lake Road
· Kokomo Road and Pond View
· Running on Generator at Ridge Community High School
· Flooding at Polo Park Lane North
· Waist Deep Flooding at Palm Road near Mt. Tabor Road
· Flooding at Terwesse and Highland Street West
· Trees – Keith Lane & Braddick
· Trees – Palmetto & 10th, Highland City
· Trees – 4717 Hwy 542 E
· Trees – 1323 Ashley Ct
· Trees – Central Ave between 8th and 10th Street
· Fuel pump gate @ 3900 is down and they are not able to get in.
· Flooding – Johnson St @ Powerline Rd, Haines City
· Lines – Snively Rd between 7th and 8th St
· R/R arms – Eagle Lake Loop Rd (arms damaged)
· Trees – W. Christina Blvd
· Trees – S. Daughtery Rd north of Pipkin Rd
· Trees – Saddlecreek Rd between Timber Pass and Teneroc High School
· Traffic signals – Hwy 544 and Hwy 27
· Flood – Swindell Rd & Hwy 92. Car (unoccupied) partially submerged.
· Flood – E. Christina Blvd and E. Christina Blvd
· Trees – Ridgemont Loop and Ridgeway
· Lines – 104 Lake Sears Dr
· Trees – 91 Mine Rd and Simpson Dr
· Flood – 1400 Banana Rd
· Trees – Dundee Rd and Shepard Rd
· Flood – Berkley Rd and Bowers, Auburndale. Veh partially submerged.
· Trees – N. Hanson Dr and Highlands Reserve Dr
· MPH collapsed – Bass Lake MHP #49 (vacant), Bream Dr and Walleye S. Dr.
· Trees – Hwy 559 north of James Place
· Trees – 17/92 south of Ronald Regan Pkwy
· Trees – Woodale Dr and Yule Rd, Lakeland
· Pole – Dundee Rd and Executive Rd
· Trees – 320 Vallyshannon Dr
· Trees – south end of Live Oak, S. Lkld
· Trees – 8096 Lake Hendry Rd
· Trees – Ronald Regan Pkwy at Portofino subdivision
· Trees – 6276 Lake Hendry Rd
· Trees – Homerun Blvd and Heller Bros Blvd
· Trees – 17/92 and McKay Rd, Lake Alfred
· Trees/Lines – Canal Rd and Stokie Rd
· Aluminum Shed – Ronald Regan Blvd & Thousand Islands Blvd
· Trees – Kokomo Rd and Rose St
· Lines – W. Cummings and 17/92
· Trees – 3200 Homeland Garfield Rd

6:30 am

There is significant wind damage throughout Polk County as a result of Hurricane Irma. There are widespread power outages. Some estimates are as high as 75% of the county is experiencing a power outage. Trees, power lines and other debris and obstructions are in the roadways. We encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution regarding downed power lines. If citizens choose to help clear roadways, please do so only if it is safe to do so. Do not attempt to clear debris that involves power lines or trees making contact with power lines. Please be careful using power equipment such as chain saws--they can be dangerous. Deputies, police officers, and other county and city crews are working to identify hazards, report them, and schedule a response. Please be patient and be safe. If you are aware of any potential hazards, Polk County Emergency Management encourages you to use the Citizen’s Information Line to report these issues. Call the Citizen’s Information Line at 863-401-2234 (locally) or toll-free 866-661-0228. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless your situation is life-threatening.
Please be kind and helpful to your fellow neighbors and citizens. Lend a helping hand!

Latest 2 Updates from Polk County Sheriff's Facebook Page

5:00 am

Polk County experienced a significant impact from Irma. Here are a few of the initial damage assessments: power outages are widespread, many trees and power lines are down blocking roadways, there is extensive private property damage, and many traffic signals are not working. Please be careful out there! We strongly recommend that citizens do not drive on roads unless it is necessary. Downed power lines are very dangerous. Debris on roadways is common. The following is a PARTIAL list of damage (please excuse abbreviations and possible corrections needed for accurate street names--this information is being generated quickly and is subject to change):
Kathleen Rd., and Matters Rd., Lakeland, tree down
Palmetto Lane E. and V. Matt Williams Blvd, Polk City, tree down
Galloway Road and Spivey Road, tree down
W. Socrum Loop Rd., and Novell Costing Rd., tree down
Citrus Ave., and Oak Ave., Kathleen, tree down
Gib Galloway and Childs Way, tree down
Lake Reedy Blvd, Frostproof, tree down
Tree & lines, 208 Waterview Drive
559 South of 21 Palms, tree down
Bryant Ranch Road, trees fallen & blocking access to neighborhood
Power line road blocked on Dean Street at Cook Road, electric pole
719 Swill Drive, tree fell on home
Polk City Road west of US 27, blocked lanes, Haines City
Hatcher and Spring Lane, Lakeland, 5 downed trees,
Yule and Creekwater, flooded
Shepherd Rd & Newman Circle, flooded
Clubhouse and 8th & Clubhouse and 12th, trees down
Swindell and 92, Flooding
5442 Shadyglen Drive & Spivey Rd, trees and lines down
Thompson Nursery Rd. 1 mile west of 27, trees down blocking road
Chalet Suzanne and 27, traffic lights on ground
Pipkin Rd. and Hansen, flooded, tree in west bound lane
Camp Inn off US 27, multiple trees on road on 27
Powerline Road and Greenbriar, Greenbriar subdivision, blocked with tree
Bailey Rd and Davis Rd, tree blocked
540 north of boat ramp, trees down
Canal Rd and Timberlane, tree down
Lake Shore Blvd and Sunset, Lake Wales, lines and trees down
Shepherd Road and Shepherd Oaks, Lakeland, Collapsed power pole
Dundee Road and 27, traffic signal dangling
Recker and Thornhill Road, traffic signal down
Scenic Highway and Water Tank Road, trees down
Bomber Road and Rifle Range Road, Trees down
Eagle Ave & 6th Street, Eagle Lake, Lines and trees down
West side of JA Wilshire & Scenic Highway, structure fire
Scenic Highway and Water Tank, tree down
Avenue G & 22nd Street, NW, Wire down
Tindel Camp & Timberland, tree down
New Glen and Sharp Pine, tree down
Harrelson Rd & Sims, tree down
Hunt brothers and Big tank Road, Lines down
Tindel Camp and Canal, trees down
SR 33 west of Old Polk City Road, Tree down
Bomber Road west of Rifle Range Road, Tree down
Scenic Highway and Passion Play Road, tree down
Avenue Q NW and 32nd Street NW; tree down
Broadway through H…. Avenue, Polk City, tree down
26th Street NW South of Avenue P., NW, tree down
Duff Road west of 98, tree down
26th Street south of Avenue S, NW, Winter Haven, tree down
South bound 98, Gib Galloway to…, flooding
@2705 98 c/s Griffin Rd., tree down
Old Polk City & Hunter Rd., Pole and transformer & tree down
Railroad arms at 98 & West Frostproof Road broken
Entrance to pumps Avenue Q, tree down
1st Ave and Hobbs, lines down
Dundee Road and 27, trees down
27 & Man, Lake Wales, trees down
Boy Scout Road east of 98, lines down
Kokomo & Pond View Rd., Lines down with broken pole
Winter Lake and Thornhill, signal down
Dean Still and 33 @ round about, lines down (14971 Commonwealth)
Galloway & Knights Station, tree down
60 and Jasmine, LW, trees down
8619 Hwy 33 @ Jean Robinson, trees down
I4 WB @ 27, debris in road
540 & Spirit Lake, transformer
NB Spirit Lake and Allen Ave., in front of Mid Florida, tree down
547 & Shady Lane, Tree down and pole down
Saddle Bag Road & 60 East, lines down
Scenic Highway South & 2nd Ave., Frostproof
Spirit Lk and Shadow Wood to Flamingo, tree down

3:00 am

Here's an update: the worst of the wind has pushed through Polk County. We are shifting our mission to damage assessment and storm recovery. We are out now locating blocked roads--there are many--and damaged homes and businesses to see who needs help and get the roads clear for emergency vehicles. The photo is of a damaged patrol car--Polk County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Chris Lynn and Polk County Fire Rescue Paramedic James Tanner Schaill became trapped in a PCSO patrol car late Sunday night after a live power pole and electric line(s) fell on it while they were driving on Lakeland Hills Blvd. near Robson St. They were travelling from LRMHC where they had dropped off an elderly patient and were returning to north Lakeland. They were trapped for about two hours late Sunday night / early Monday morning. Lakeland Electric crews responded and were able to disconnect the lines. The two were able to get out of the patrol car at about 1:15 a.m. Monday morning. Both have returned to work to begin recover work.

Sunday 10 September 2017

A couple of updates from our Polk County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page

8:30 pm update

Another update. Winds are gusting to 40 mph in the County. Here's a partial list of reported areas where trees are down with road blockage: Kathleen Rd., and Matters Rd., Lakeland, Palmetto Lane E. and V. Matt Williams Blvd, Polk City, Galloway Road and Spivey Road, W. Socrum Loop Rd., and Novell Costing Rd., Citrus Ave., and Oak Ave., Kathleen, Gib Galloway and Childs Way, and Lake Reedy Blvd, Frostproof. We are also seeing photos of other trees down throughout the County. There are more reports of trees down on private property.
Please stay off the roads & be safe everyone!

Another update as of about 7:30 p.m....
Wind speeds are increasing in the County--40 mph gusts reported. Experts are saying we can expect our highest winds between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am--at or near hurricane force winds. Flooding reported in the Camp Inn area off US 27. More reports of trees down around the county. A tree is blocking Galloway Road near Spivey in Lakeland. Trees have been cleared from US 27 near Frostproof. Sleepy Hill Elementary Shelter has lost power.
Be safe out there! Stay off the roads.

How about an update? As of around 6:30 pm in Polk County we have widespread rain and wind. Winds are increasing. We have a number of reports about downed trees around the county, but no significant property damage reported as of yet. We have a report of a downed tree and power lines on Lake Reedy Blvd near Frostproof. TECO is reporting about 2,200 customers without power, Duke Energy is reporting about 1,200 customers without power, Lakeland Electric is reporting about 1,300 without power, and the City of Ft. Meade is without power (the power was taken off line as a precaution to prevent future transformer damage, and other technical issues). No significant events reported. Stay off the roads and stay safe everyone!

Saturday 9 September 2017

Another CERT Update from Polk County Commissioners Re Manufactured Homes and Flood Prone Areas

Map attached that shows areas prone to flooding

Mandatory evacuation of manufactured homes and flood-prone areas

Bartow, Fla. (September 9, 2017) —  Polk County public shelters are now open. Residents requiring assistance for transportation to special needs shelters have begun moving into their shelters. Polk County’s Emergency Management division says now is the time to decide whether you should move to a shelter, or shelter in place.

Polk County residents who live in manufactured and mobile homes, or in areas of the county that historically are prone to flooding following heavy rains, should evacuate and take advantage of open shelters during Hurricane Irma. This mandatory evacuation includes people who live in manufactured and mobile homes, and areas of the county that are most vulnerable including:

·       Itchepackesassa Creek, bordered by Deeson Road, the County Line, Ariana Street and Chestnut Street;
·       Gator Creek, in extreme northwest Polk bordered by the County Line on the north and west, Marcum Road on the south and Highway 33 on the east;
·       Lake Lowery’s northwest side of the lake;
·       Saddlebag Lake, and
·       River Ranch.
You should only decide to shelter in place if you live in a secure structure that is not a mobile or manufactured home. When sheltering in place, you should:
·       Bring your pets indoors
·       Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, garden decorations and anything else that could become a flying projectile
·       Be sure you and your family have a safe room in which to ride out the storm. This should be a room that is in the interior part of your home with no windows.
·       Get your survival kit out and ready. Be sure to pull out your weather radio so you can keep up with current weather conditions.
Public shelters now open are:

Auburndale High School
1 Bloodhound Trail
Bartow High School
1270 S. Broadway
Davenport School of the Arts
4751 N CR 547
Horizons Elementary
1700 Forest Lake Drive
Lake Region High School
1995 Thunder Road
Eagle Lake
Haines City High School
2800 Hornet Drive
Haines City
Spook Hill Elementary
321 Dr. J.A. Wiltshire Ave., E.
Lake Wales
George Jenkins High School
6000 Lakeland Highlands
Phillip O’Brien Elementary
1255 E. Lime Street
R. Bruce Wagner Elementary
5500 Yates Road
Sleepy Hill Elementary
2285 Sleepy Hill Drive
Tenoroc High School
4905 Saddle Creek Rd.
Mulberry Middle School
500 Martin Luther King Ave.
Lake Marion Creek Middle
3055 Lk. Marion Creek Rd.
Donald Bronson Community Center
124 Bronson Trail
Polk City
Chain of Lakes Elementary
7001 CR 653
Winter Haven

Lake Region High School in Eagle Lake and Phillip O’Brien Elementary in Lakeland are pet-friendly facilities.