POLK COUNTY, Fla. - City and county employees, as well as electric utility companies, assessed the storm damage Monday and began repairs.
Utility companies said that as of 8 a.m. about 80 percent of Polk County was without power, and that residents should be prepared to be without power for several days.
The county is imposing a curfew from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday since 80 percent of the county is still without power.
Polk County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Chris Lynne and Polk County Fire Rescue Paramedic James Tanner Schaill became trapped in a patrol car late Sunday night after a live power pole and electric lines fell on it while they were driving on Lakeland Hills Boulevard, officials said.
Lynne and Schaill were travelling from Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, 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 disconnected the lines and were able to rescue Lynne and Schaill.
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, which might cause spillage to flow into areas near these lift stations.
Roads and Drainage Division is sending crews to areas to clear roads so that they are drivable. Downed power lines are making the process take longer, authorities said. Crews are coming from out-of-the-county to assist with further road cleanup and debris removal.
Officials said major roadways will be cleared first.
“Major power outages mean that traffic signalization is not functioning, and drivers should treat all intersections as four-way stops,” according to a news release.
Most of Polk County’s public shelters are also without power.
Polk County’s landfill is closed until further notice.
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