With Tropical Depression Fred expected to bring tropical storm conditions to Central Florida this weekend, Polk County is offering filled sandbags for flood protection. Nearby pickup locations include 8970 N. Campbell Road in Lakeland and 900 NE 5th St. in Mulberry.

Sites are open until 7 p.m. today and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A maximum of 10 bags will be provided per vehicle.

Other sites where sandbags will be available will be the Polk County Roads and Drainage units at:

  • Fort Meade – 1061 NE 9th St., 
  • Frostproof – 350 County Road 630A
  • Auburndale – 1701 Holt Road
  • Dundee – 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW
  • Poinciana –2012 Hemlock Ave.

County officials suggest using sandbags for protection against water intrusion into homes in flood-prone areas and offer these tips for placing bags in areas where water can enter a structure:

  • If not working on concrete, a small ditch should be dug just deep enough to go below ground level. The ditch should be back far enough from the entrance to allow room to place optional submersible (sump) pumps into the protected area. The edge of the plastic sheeting should be placed in the ditch as a bottom layer.
  • Place the first row of sandbags in ditch, fold plastic sheeting over the top of first row, place a second row of bags on top, fold plastic sheeting back over, place a third row of bags on top, and so on. This creates an “S” pattern with the plastic sheeting.
  • Depending on the size of the barrier, one or more submersible (sump) pumps should be utilized. The barrier will not completely stop water from entering the protected area. However, with the proper placement of bags, plastic sheeting and sump pumps, water, in most cases, can be removed quickly.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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