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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/31/2011 

 Severe Weather Issues and Concerns 


 

The Polk County Sheriff's Emergency Communications Center began receiving weather-related calls for services around noon today, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Since that time we have received approximately 467 emergency 9-1-1 calls for service related to the weather, and many other non-emergency calls. No significant medical emergencies have been reported. 

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS AS OF 4:15 P.M. THURSDAY, MARCH 31, 2011: 

ROAD OBSTRUCTIONS AND CLOSURES IN EAST POLK COUNTY: 

  • Spirit Lake Road in Winter Haven: obstruction of roadway (trees down) near the Villages of Spirit Lake Lights out at Overlook Drive SE and Cypress Gardens Blvd
  • Tree down at Old Eagle Lake Rd./Spirit Lake Rd
  • Power lines and power pole down at 16th Street NE and Dundee Road
  • Power lines down at US Highway 92 E and Oak Street
  • Trees & power lines down at Eagle Lake Loop and Rifle Range Roads
  • Trees & power lines down at 6550 Timberlane Road
  • Power lines down at Gandy Cemetary Rd and South of Gandy Rd
  • Tree in roadway at Eloise Road and Macon Rd
  • Power line down at US Hwy 17/91 and Mine Rd
  • Tree in roadway at Firetower and Hatchineha Roads
  • Tree in roadway at Scott Rd and3rd St. East in Wahneta
  • Power lines in roadway at 128 2nd St. in Eloise

ROAD OBSTRUCTIONS AND CLOSURES IN WEST POLK COUNTY:

  • Old Bartow/Eagle Lake Road in Bartow is shut down completely due to trees in the roadway
  • Traffic light out at Shepherd and Lunn Roads
  • Nichols Road west of Anderson Road is blocked due to trees and power lines down
  • Pipkin Road at Harden is closed due to power lines down
  • Hamilton Road at Dranefiled is closed due to power lines down
  • 4415 Medulla Road has a power line down

GENERALLY AROUND POLK COUNTY: 

There have been a number of reported trees and branches blown down and debris blown in areas thoroughout the county.  Relatively weak structures such as tents and marketing flags have been blown down.  Some street and directional signs have been bent. 

Deputies reported only one confirmed visual sighting of a tornado near the ground in the area of Cypress Gardens Blvd and Cypress Gardens Road (near Lego Land). 

Deputies are directing traffic at intersections where traffic lights are without power, however, if motorists should come to a light that is without power and there are no law enforcement personnel on-scene, they are urged to proceed through the intersection as if it is a four-way stop. 

Both Polk County Jail facilities are secure, with no damage or issues. There is minimal damage at other PCSO buildings and facilities. No PCSO members have been injured. 

All schools in the county were checked during the storm and reported they were okay. 

The incident at Sun n Fun is being handled by the Lakeland Police Department, Lakeland Fire Department, Polk County Fire and Rescue, Polk County Emergency Management, and Polk County Sheriff's Office. The city of Lakeland PIO, the LPD PIO, and the Sun n Fun PIO's are sending out information regarding the damage and injuries there. 

Residents are urged to call 9-1-1 for emergencies ONLY.  

The Polk County Emergency Operations Center has been activated, and they have activated a Citizen Information Line for people wishing to call to check on their loved ones. That number is 863.401.2234.