Matthew causes little damage in Polk

Breathing a sigh of relief in Polk

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WTSP) -- People in Polk County are breathing a sigh of relief. As Hurricane Matthew moved up the coast, it spared that area for the most part.

While a lot of people in Polk County feel like they dodged a bullet, Matthew did cause some damage there.

"I heard this loud swoosh, and then when it came down it was really loud," Bernice O'Connor said.

A massive tree had fallen in the middle of the night, as some of Matthew's strongest winds whipped through Polk. It took down power lines and crushed a car.

"It's insured," O'Connor said. "We have insurance on all of our automobiles and the home, so we're OK that way."

People who evacuated to Polk from the East Coast are glad they did. Some gas stations were running dry in the later part of the week, but that's the least of their worries as they get ready to head home.

"We know we're probably going to be without power, but I'll be happy to see my house standing most of all," Russ Notaro said.

Earlier this week, Susan Dowe, who lives in a mobile home park in Winter Haven, was considering evacuating to a hotel or shelter. She decided to stay put and said she made the right decision, because there was very little damage.

"You heard a little in the wind last night, and then it got really quiet, and I thought, 'oh OK,' so we're good," she said.

Emergency Management officials said the county is going to send crews to other parts of Florida that were hit much harder by Matthew.


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