Precipitation forecast, Thursday 3:35 p.m.
Precipitation forecast, Thursday 3:35 p.m. |

With high winds from Hurricane Matthew expected to hit Lakeland on Thursday evening, Polk public schools and other organizations are announcing closings and cancellations.   Check our list below:



  • Sandbags are available and can be filled at Polk County fire stations, including three near Lakeland: Sleepy Hill, 3030 Sleepy Hill Road; Crystal Lake, 2450 E. Main St.; and Mulberry, 900 N.E. 5th St.
  • Polk County government will activate its Citizens Information Line Thursday at 7 a.m. Call (863) 401-2234.
  • Lakeland Electric asks that power outages be reported to 863-834-4248. More infoOutage map and info
  • City of Lakeland offices not involved in emergency services will be closed Friday.
  • City of Lakeland parks will be closed Friday. Kelly Rec Center is closing at 6 p.m. Thursday and re-opening Saturday.
  • City of Lakeland residential and commercial garbage collection on Friday has been rescheduled to Saturday.
  • Lakeland libraries are closing at 6 p.m. Thursday and staying closed on Friday.
  • Polk County emeregency shelters open at 1 p.m. Thursday. The one closest to Lakeland is at Teneroc High School, 4905 Saddle Creek Road.
  • Polk County government offices close at 2 p.m. Thursday and remain closed Friday.
  • U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross‘ local office is closed Thurday and Friday. The Washington office is open: 202-225-1252.
  • Lakeland Code Enforcement hearing scheduled for Friday has been cancelled.
  • Circle B Bar Reserve closes 2 p.m. Thursday, reopening Tuesday. No new campers are being accepted at county campgrounds, including Saddle Creek Park.
  • The North Central Polk landfill closes at 4 p.m. Thursday and plans to reopen Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Citrus Connection: All final departure times for Citrus Connection, Winter Have Area Transit, Lynx buses (Routes 416, 427 and 603) and paratransit trips will occur by 3:30 p.m. Thursday allowing passengers to complete their trip. Citrus Connection will be shutting down for the day at 6:30 p.m. and there will be no service Friday.


  • First Friday in downtown Lakeland has been cancelled because of the high winds. It’s not being rescheduled since the Lake Mirror Classic takes place next weekend.
  • The Lakeland Center’s Classic Albums Live “Physical Graffiti” concert scheduled for Friday has been postponed until Oct. 14. See details.
  • The Polk Museum of Art will be closed Thursday and Friday, and its George Lowe lecture will be postponed.
  • Downtown Farmers Curb Market will be closed Saturday.
  • STILL PLANNED: Central Florida Speech and Hearing’s Mr. Central Florida is still on tonight at Sun ‘n Fun.


  • Watson Clinic is closing all locations Friday.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs are closed both days.
  • Lakeland Business Leaders’ Friday Power Lunch has been rescheduled to Oct. 14.
  • Lakeland YMCA facilities close Thursday at 4 p.m. In addition: After School Childcare, on-sight and at the school site, and VPK will be closed Thursday and Friday. Friday’s hours (dependent upon weather) will be as follows: Lakeland Family YMCA: open at 12 pm;  Fontaine Gills Family YMCA: open at 3 pm; YMCA Par 3: Closed Friday, will open back up on Saturday
  • The Juice Box north location will be closed Thursday and Friday; The Juice Box south location will close Thursday at 2 pm and remain closed through Friday.
  • The NoBay ribbon cutting scheduled for Friday has been moved to Oct. 20.

The city of Lakeland has published this list of phone numbers:

Lakeland Electric

General (7:30 am – 8:00 pm): (863) 834-9535

Outages/Emergencies: (866) 834-4248

Lakeland Fire Department

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: (863) 834-8200

Lakeland Police Department

Emergency: 911

Non-Emergency: (863) 834-6900

Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center (Hospital)

Main: (863) 687-1100

Polk County Emergency Management

(863) 534-5600

TECO People’s Gas: Customer Service

Customer Service: (877) 832-6747

Gas Leaks/Emergencies: (877) 832-6747
Water Utilities

Customer Service: (863) 834-9535

Broken Water Mains & Problems (M-F, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm): (863) 834-4248

After Hours/Weekends: (863) 834-4248

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Barry Friedman founded 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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