Author: fortmeadedaily

Flood Warning issued August 31 at 9:52PM EDT until further notice by NWS Tampa Bay

The Flood Warning has been extended for the following rivers in Florida…
Withlacoochee At Holder ..The Flood Warning continues for the following rivers in Florida…
Peace River At Bartow .The Withlacoochee River At Holder and the Peace River At Bartow remain in flood stage due to recent heavy rainfall. These rivers are expected to remain fairly steady through the weekend. Depending on the track of Dorian, these rivers could rise further next week with higher rain chances associated with the system.
The Flood Warning continues for The Peace River At Bartow * Until further notice.
* At 09 PM Saturday the stage was 8.0 feet.
* Minor flooding is occurring and Minor flooding is forecast.
* Flood stage is 8.0 feet.
* The river will continue rising to near 8.2 feet by Monday early afternoon. Additional rises may be possible thereafter.
* Impact…at 8.0 feet…Private roads downstream flood.
* Flood history…This compares to a previous crest of 8.2 feet on Sep 29 1948.
&& FLD OBSERVED FORECAST 8AM LOCATION STG STG DAY TIME Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Peace Bartow 8.0 8.0 Sat 09 PM 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.2 8.2 &&


Government Offices closed during Hurricane Dorian

Bartow, Fla. (August 30, 2019) —Polk County government offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 3-4, 2019 due to Hurricane Dorian. Offices are also closed Monday, Sept. 2 for the Labor Day holiday. All Board of County Commissioners facilities, Supervisor of Elections offices, Property Appraiser, Clerk of Courts and Tax Collector facilities will be closed.

For the most updated information, please continue to monitor your local news media, the county website at or call the Citizen’s Information Line at (863) 401-2234 (locally) or toll-free 866-661-0228.

Clerk’s Office Hurricane Closure

Bartow, Fla. (August 30, 2019) – Due to Hurricane Dorian, the offices of Stacy M. Butterfield, CPA, the Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller are closed to the general public on Tuesday, Sept. 3. At this time, the Clerk’s office anticipates a return to normal business hours on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

The Clerk’s office will continue to monitor the path and intensity of Hurricane Dorian, and any changes in office closures will be communicated to the public. Due to the unpredictable nature of hurricanes, the possibility remains that offices may have additional closures. Please continue to monitor communication platforms listed below for updates.

At this time, jurors scheduled to report for jury duty on Tuesday Sept. 3, need to report on Thursday, Sept. 5. Jurors are asked to please check their numbers to see if their service is needed by calling our office or checking the juror portal located on the Clerk’s website.

If conditions change, updates will be posted on the Clerk’s Facebook page, Twitter and website, and can be heard via recording by calling the office:

– A notification for customers will be posted to 863-534-4000

– A notification for jurors will be posted to 863-534-4582

Traffic ticket payments and other court payments are available online 24/7. Visit the Clerk’s office online at Like the Polk County Clerk Facebook page and follow @PolkCountyClerk on Twitter for updates and announcements.

Polk Shelters to open Sunday

Bartow, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2019) – Based on the current track and estimated time of arrival in Polk County of Hurricane Dorian, the following public shelters will open at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1:

· Auburndale High School, 1 Bloodhound Trail, Auburndale

· Chain of Lakes Elementary, 7001 CR 653, Winter Haven

· Davenport School of the Arts, 4751 N CR 547, Davenport

· Donald Bronson Community, 124 Bronson Trail, Polk City

· George Jenkins High School, 6000 Lakeland Highlands Road, Lakeland

· Horizons Elementary, 1700 Forest Lake Drive, Davenport

· Kathleen High School, 2600 Crutchfield Road, Lakeland

· Lake Marion Creek Elem., 3055 Lk. Marion Creek Road, Poinciana

· Mulberry Middle School, 500 Martin Luther King Ave., Mulberry

Special Needs shelters will also open at 8 a.m. Sunday, for those residents with special medical needs. Polk County Emergency Management’s Special Needs Program is designed to provide shelter and/or transportation for residents with medical or physical conditions and/or dependent on medical electrical equipment who require assistance during an emergency. Those staying at the special needs shelters have been prearranged and registered.

The only pet friendly shelter that will be open will be at Lake Region High School, 1995 Thunder Road, Eagle Lake. Pet owners must bring shot records for their pets, an airline-approved carrying case or crate and pet food.

Check the county website for updates at You may also obtain further emergency information at and

Citrus Connection to Suspend Service

LAKELAND (Aug. 30, 2019) – Due to potential effects of Hurricane Dorian and the need accommodate the medical needs of the community, the Citrus Connection will suspend fixed route transit service at the close of business Friday, August 30 until further notice.

Citrus Connection operators will be dedicated to addressing medical needs of Citrus Connection clients for dialysis appointments and other critical medical treatments.

For more information, please contact our Regional Mobility Call Center at (863) 534-5500.

Traffic Fatality – Homeland

The PCSO Traffic Unit is investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred
this evening in Homeland (south of Bartow, north of Fort Meade), involving a Polk County School bus and a red Ford Focus, in Homeland. The driver of the Focus is deceased. Preliminary information so far is as follows:Around 4:40 p.m. on Thursday, August 29, 2019, bus #1620 which is an ESE bus
was heading eastbound on Homeland-Garfield Rd (AKA CR 640) taking students home when, for unknown reasons, a 2017 red Ford Focus being driven westbound
by 28-year-old Micheal Velasco of Bartow, began to hydroplane and entered into the path of the bus. The bus driver, 32-year-old Jennifer Baldwin of Lakeland, tried to avoid hitting the car and swerved to the right.After impact, there was significant intrusion into the Focus, and Velasco was deceased on-scene.The four students on the bus, as a precaution, were transported to Bartow
Regional Medical Center by their parents to be checked out. They did not
suffer any serious injuries.The bus driver and her attendant, 35-year-old Crystal Newberry, were
transported by PCFR to Bartow Regional.Everyone except Crystal Newberry was treated and released – she has an injury
to her hip and has been admitted.Homeland-Garfield Road was closed for approximately 5 hours during the
investigation. The investigation is ongoing.

Governor Ron DeSantis Declares State of Emergency, Urges Floridians to Prepare for Hurricane Dorian

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 19-189, declaring a state of emergency for counties in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The Governor is urging all Floridians on the East Coast to prepare for impacts, as the latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center project Hurricane Dorian will make landfall on Florida’s East Coast as a major hurricane.

By declaring a state of emergency, Governor DeSantis is ensuring that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare. The State Emergency Operations Center will activate to a Level 2 on Thursday morning, enhancing the coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.

“Today, I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure Florida is fully prepared for Hurricane Dorian,” said Governor DeSantis. “It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely. Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster. I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare.”

“Because of the uncertainty in the track of this storm, every resident along the East Coast needs to be ready,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz. “As updates come out, it’s important that Floridians continue to pay attention to media and local officials as the track of this storm has been changing and can continue to change rapidly. By having an Executive Order in place and by activating the State Emergency Operations Center to a Level 2, we are fully prepared to support any community that might be impacted.”


· The State Emergency Operations Center Media Line: 850-921-0217

· Follow @FLSERT and @GovRonDeSantis on Twitter for live updates

· Visit to find information on emergency preparedness, shelters, road closures and evacuation routes