It's about time!
After 13 1/2 hours without power, the folks at Lakeland Electric restored service to my little corner of the world only moments before I began typing this post. It's been a rough day since shortly after 7:00 this morning, when the electricity for much of northern Lakeland went down. As a matter of fact, at one point reportedly 90 percent of Polk County's 450,000 citizens were without power. Remarkable, considering it's sheer size, but not completely unusual for such a storm.
Listening to the radio reports and ham radio operators, this seems to be the first of the three major hurricanes that have caused significant damage throughout Polk. The previous storms, while causing some sporadic damage in Lakeland and western portions of the county, had mainly affected the southern and eastern regions. One amateur radio operator I spoke with in North Lakeland early in the afternoon said that his home weather station read a high wind gust of 93MPH during the height of the storm, and over six inches of rain.
There is a dusk to dawn curfew in effect. Schools and county government offices will be closed Monday, as well as the County Health Department clinics and Department of Children and Families offices.
The Lakeland Ledger has some really good picture galleries of damage and other effects of Jeanne from throughout Polk County. Here's a link to a series for Lakeland, some scenes from Bartow, and some from Winter Haven/East Polk County.
Right now there is still some breezes with occasional gusts of about 25 MPH and light rain, but that will move off overnight. Some of the local weather types are saying that although Jeanne will have gone away tomorrow, because of her the atmosphere will be rather unstable with a chance of thunderstorms...a breeding ground for possible tornados. Sounds like a fun day...
My power is back on, I've made my blog entry, and since my AC is back on I'm going to bed...Some of us have to go to work and collect past due telephone bills tomorrow.