Lakeland Electric has identified the parts of its grid that were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma and said some of the roughly 2,000 people there can expect to be without power until Tuesday or Wednesday. All others without power should be restored by Sunday, the utility said in a Facebook post.
The areas that will take longer include:
- Lake Hollingsworth area (southwest side of the lake)
- Southgate Area (Beacon Road south to Imperial Boulevard)
- Sylvester Road area (sest of U.S. 98 and between Sylvester Road and Crystal Lake Road)
- Polk County’s midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew has been lifted, with county officials saying enough power has been restored that the danger is lessened. While some businesses had complained about the curfew while it was in effect, news that it was lifted drew Facebook protests from homeowners on darkened streets who feel vulnerable to vandals. City officials said police patrols will remain intensified after dark.
- Lakeland Electric has “busted through the 10,000 barrier,” General Manager Joel Ivy told city commissioners this morning. As of noon, 9,700 customers were reported without power.
- Twenty more line crews from out of state are expected to arrive in Lakeland Saturday to assist with power restoration, Ivy said.
- FEMA is distributing food and water at Lakeland Victory Church, 1401 Griffin Road. Residents in need can get two cases of water and one case of meals-ready-to-eat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until power is restored.
- Regular Citrus Connection bus service is resuming, with Saturday service returning tomorrow and weekday service returning Monday.
- Debris collection by FEMA contractors is expected to start Monday instead of Sunday, as previously reported. City crews are already collecting yard debris.
- Lakeland water and wastewater operations have been restored “for the most part,” City Manager Tony Delgado told city commissioners this morning.
- Water at all lakes except Bonnie and Parker has been reduced to manageable levels, Delgado said.
- City teams have identified more than 2,700 damaged structures, more than half of them mobile homes, Assistant Community Development Director Celeste Deardorff said.
- Code enforcement staff is helping gather information to justify FEMA dollars, she said. While some on social media feared the code enforcement staff were building enforcement cases, she said enforcement will be relaxed as hurricane damage is restored.