BARTOW, Fla. - As the first flood warnings were issued Friday afternoon ahead of Hurricane Dorian, folks in Polk County began to prepare for what feels inevitable: flooding.
One of those issues was issued for the Peace River in Bartow.
Even though the hurricane's track remained uncertain heading into the weekend, experts think Polk County residents should prepare for rain, possibly quite a bit.
Yards and pastures are already saturated and, in some cases, still flooded, so residents aren't interested in more rain. The impending storm also reminds a lot of them of Hurricane Irma, which barreled through the county in 2017.
It left a bad impression on the Farquhar family.
They live north in Lakeland, off Walker Road, in an area that tends to flood. Irma pushed water into three of the rooms in their home.
“Destroyed all of our carpet,” said Joshua Farquhar. “So this year we’re taking the right precautions to prevent that from happening again.”
Farquhar’s dad and a neighbor picked up a dozen bags of free sand from the Walker Road Park. Neighbors helped the Farquhars stack the bags around their home's foundation.
Irma, and what she did, is still fresh. It sends a chill down the spine of Duncan Kinloch who lives in nearby Itchepassesassa Creek. His driveway and property were underwater for an uncomfortably long time.
“It took two to three weeks for it to drain,” he said.
Farquhar, meanwhile, said despite the hassle, he is taking Dorian and whatever he brings in stride.
“You get prepared for it. You wait for it to drain,” he said. “That’s why I have a four-wheel-drive truck.”
Hurricane Dorian preparations by county: