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Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Polk County EOC up and running ahead of Hurricane Dorian

A staff of more than 200 people will spend their shifts monitoring Hurricane Dorian.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla — Polk County has seen its fair share of hurricanes. 

It was the only Florida county to be hit with the eyewall of three hurricanes in 2004: Charley, Frances and Jeanne. That’s why they’re taking every precaution for Hurricane Dorian.

"The ground is already saturated here," says Greg Becker, the emergency management program director. Becker says even 5 inches of rain from Dorian could mean huge problems for the county. 

Wet ground brings the potential of flooding and downed trees, leading to power outages.

LIVE BLOG: The latest, need-to-know information on Hurricane Dorian

The Polk County Emergency Operations Center has 102 seats and each one will be filled at the storm moves closer to the state. Representatives from each county department as well as power companies, phone companies and contractors are in place to figure out how to get through the storm and how to get through the cleanup after.

Polk County has already distributed more than 30,000 sandbags, a first line of defense against flooding. The county has the potential to distribute more than 40,000 more.

RELATED: School closures: Here is a list of Tampa Bay school closures ahead of Hurricane Dorian

RELATED: 'They're taking it seriously': Polk County neighbors brace themselves for Dorian

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