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Polk County emergency officials staying vigilant despite Dorian’s shift

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – In Polk County, the message to residents from emergency officials is to stay prepared.

Hurricane Dorian could still be a threat even though it’s shifted.

“Right now, we have put some things on pause. We are not stopping anything,” said Polk County Emergency Operations Director Paul Womble.

Womble said now is not the time to relax since Hurricane Dorian has turned more to the north in the last 24 hours.

It’s projected path, still uncertain.

“We still want to be able to react to changes we may not like in the forecast and that’s consistent with what the Hurricane Center and National Weather Service is telling everyone. We’re still in the cone of uncertainty.” said Womble.

Womble said they anticipate hurricane winds from Dorian with possibly 3-5 inches of rain.

“Again, it’s important to remember, if you’re in that cone, the center of the storm could pass over you. That’s the most important thing,” he said.

Many are still cleaning up damage after Irma.

“I just hope she goes further out. Stays away,” said one man who lives at Sterling Mobile Home Park in Lakeland.

Flooding is still a big concern for many, especially those living in the eastern part of Polk County, where the impact is expected to be greater.

“If you’ve been wet in the past, or if you’ve experienced water in your yard, in your home, you need to be prepared,” said Jay Jarvis, Polk Co. Roads and Drainage Director.

Womble is urging residents to stay vigilant.

“Looks better, we’re hopeful again. We’ve been planning for the worst, hoping for the best,” he said.


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