Polk County prepares for Hurricane Matthew

Residents aren't letting the mid-week sunshine fool them into a false sense of security.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WTSP) -- People in Polk County aren't letting the sunshine Wednesday fool them. They're preparing for the worst as Hurricane Matthew makes its way toward Florida.

Schools are closed for the rest of the week, and the county is getting ready to open shelters Thursday afternoon.

"I could live for a month or two easily with what I have," Susan Dowe, who lives in a mobile home in Winter Haven, said.

She already packed up her car with water and other necessities, just in case she has to leave her mobile home and go to a shelter or hotel.

"Yesterday 58 rooms in one place,” she explained. “Today, none left, so those are going really fast."

Across the street from her, Ann Miller is planning to go to her son's house.

"It's not safe being in a mobile home that's for sure,” she said.

She's taking her bird and family photographs with her.

"I know I have too many, but that's the only thing I have,” she said.

Right now Polk County Emergency Management is not telling people to evacuate. They said they would do that if we were expecting hurricane force winds in the area and the potential for flooding.

"They shouldn't be winds enough to damage homes themselves, but what they could propel into homes could damage them,” Emergency Management Director Pete McNally said.

The county is setting up shelters at Alta Vista Elementary in Haines City, Ridge Community High, 500 Orchid Drive in Davenport, and Spook Hill Elementary in Lake Wales. There will also be a shelter for those with special needs and the elderly in Bartow. For more information on shelters, visit Polk County’s website.
 


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