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Bartow, Fla. (September 9, 2022) — Following a very dry summer, the rainy season has finally arrived in Central Florida. Areas of the county are extremely wet, which prompted the Southwest Florida Water Management District to release an Emergency Final Order in response to high rainfall and anticipated flooding in the North Winter Haven Chain of Lakes area.

Polk County is making sandbags available throughout the county at Roadway Maintenance Units today through Wednesday, September 14. Locations below will be open from 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. each day, including Sunday.

Sandbag site locations are:

  • Mulberry – 900 NE 5th St., Mulberry, (863) 519-4734
  • Lakeland – 8970 N. Campbell Road, Lakeland (863) 815-6701
  • Fort Meade – 1061 NE 9th St., Fort Meade (863) 285-6588
  • Frostproof – 350 County Road 630A, Frostproof (863) 635-7879
  • Auburndale – 1701 Holt Road, Auburndale (863) 965-5524
  • Dundee – 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW, Dundee, (863) 421-3367
  • Poinciana Park – corner of Lake Hatchineha Road and Marigold Ave.

A maximum of 10 sandbags will be provided to each household to help prevent water intrusion into the home. 

Residents living in flood prone areas are encouraged to sandbag their homes. To protect against water damage, follow these simple sandbagging techniques. At the area where water can enter a structure:

  • If not working on concrete, dig a small ditch 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 visqueen should be placed in the ditch as a bottom layer.
  • Place the first row of sandbags in ditch, fold visqueen over the top of first row, place a second row of bags on top, fold visqueen back over, place a third row of bags on top, and so on. This creates an “S” pattern with the visqueen.

Depending on the size of the barrier, submersible (sump) pumps can be used. The barrier will not completely stop water from entering the protected area; however, with the by properly placing bags, visqueen and sump pumps, water, in most cases, can be removed quickly.

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