Polk officials keeping close watch on Hurricane Matthew

Polk County Emergency Management Director Pete McNally
Polk County Emergency Management Director Pete McNally

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County Emergency Management Director Pete McNally is closely watching Hurricane Matthew. While the county isn’t currently in the cone of uncertainty, McNally warns that any slight shift could have an impact on Polk County.

“This is one of those that’s in between, sometimes you look like you’re In the target zone, that’s when you have easy preparation for it because you know you’re going to get hit and you bring people in a go through a regular planning process,” said McNally.

“But in this kind of storm when you’re on the edge, when it can really go either way, we need to make sure we don’t go overboard and get people overboard and get people over prepared for it….we still want to make sure people still know the impacts are possible.”

SEE the latest track for Hurricane Matthew

McNally is holding off on making calls on shelters for right now but warns everyone that it’s not a bad idea to be prepared.

“They need to be prepared for a potential storm, right now they need to be prepared for tropical storm force winds. It doesn’t look like we are going to get a hurricane impacting us directly but tropical storm force winds still cause major damage,” said McNally.

The Emergency Operations Center in Polk County is under minimal activation. And they are letting residents know to follow their social media accounts for updates. McNally said any other major change in their activation status would come at the earliest after the 5 pm update on the storm.

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