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Plant City community crushed by Irma preps for Dorian

Rainbow Rock Community was left without electricity, running water, or working sewage for 5 days during Hurricane Irma.
Credit: WTSP

PLANT CITY, Fla. — One community in Plant City was left without power, running water, and working sewage when Irma came through two years ago. 

Now, they are putting in the work ahead of time to prevent that from happening with Dorian. With the hurricane still being days out and the path unknown, the focus has been cleaning up yards and trees.

The trees in question are those with branches resting on car roofs and on the mobile homes themselves.

“We are trying to eliminate the problem before the problem got here. That’s what we are doing today. Going through and seeing what we can find now before the storm comes,” explained Joe Grimsley, the head of maintenance at Rainbow Rock Community.

Rainbow Rock Community was rocked when Irma came through two years ago. They lost power before the hurricane even made landfall, and were without it for five days. That meant no running water or working sewage.

Resident Sarah Petrik alerted management to a tree that was resting on her trailer.

“Hopefully everything will be safe, but I definitely wanted him to take care of that before the storm hits,” said Petrik.

Residents were told to report tree issues and clean up their yards of items that could be picked up during the storm.

“I’m cleaning it off because there’s a hurricane coming. You don’t want stuff getting knocked around, blowing into vehicles,” said resident Alan Barlow II as he cleaned off his children’s toys before bringing them inside.

The manager of Rainbow Rock Community says she has also been in communication with TECO about being placed on a high priority list. The reason being there is both an elderly and handicap population here. Trying desperately to avoid the problems of Irma.

For other residents in Plant City, sandbags are available for pickup at 1302 W. Spencer Street. Residents who bring a utility bill can receive up to 10 complimentary sandbags per trip.

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