Hurricane Irma: 80% without power in Polk Co., trees smash homes, vehicles

A tree smashed a home on West Magnolia Street in Lakeland.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Irma delivered a wicked blow to Polk County. City and county employees, as well as electric utility companies, are assessing all of the storm damage and beginning repairs.

A county-wide curfew has been issued, beginning at midnight and running through 5 a.m.

Here’s a snapshot of what is known so far-

  • Utility companies that supply electric to the county report that about 80 percent of Polk County is without power. You should be prepared to be without power for several days. Winter Haven Hospital is without electricity; however, they are operating on generator power. Service to healthcare facilities is a priority. Almost all major government buildings in the county are running on generators or are completely without power.
  • Polk County Utilities reports that one potable water plant is down. Other facilities are picking up the load, which is causing reduced pressures. There currently are no health issues with potable (drinking) water. Several sanitary lift stations are without power. This may cause spillage to flow into areas near these lift stations.
  • Many Polk County roads are closed due to significant impact from Hurricane Irma (see the list of closed roads here).
  • Polk County Sheriff’s deputies are driving all roads to assess which roads are impassible. Roads and Drainage division is sending crews to those areas to clear roads so that they are drivable. Downed powerlines are making this process take longer. Crews are coming from out-of-the-county to assist with further road cleanup and debris removal. Major roadways will be cleared first.
  • Major power outages mean that traffic signalization is not functioning. Drivers should treat all intersections as four-way stops.
  • Most of Polk County’s public shelters are also without power.
  • Polk County’s landfill is closed until further notice.
  • Eight people were displaced Sunday night when winds from Hurricane Irma blew a tree over onto a Lakeland home. Lakeland firefighters say the tree fell over on Magnolia Street West. Four of the displaced individuals went to stay with family and friends. The other four went to a local shelter. No one was injured.
  • A stranded family with small children was rescued from car submerged in water in Lakeland
  • Polk deputy and paramedic were rescued after a live power pole fell on a patrol car
  • Trees crushed several homes in Lakeland
  • As of 3:15 a.m. Monday morning, Polk County Fire Rescue has resumed service.

Residents who have questions or need to report a problem should call the Citizen’s Information Line at 863.401.2234. Do not call 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency.

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