Polk County, residents near Peace River, brace for flooding ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole

When Ian hit a few weeks ago, Hurricane Ian flooded the Peace River, and the pump station at Peace River Village in Polk County broke, and sewers gushed into the flood water that covered nearby streets.

The contaminated water rose to within an inch of Felix Atkinson's front door. He and his wife were forced to leave for higher ground.

LINK: Tropical Storm Nicole closures, sandbags, storm information for Tampa Bay area

Now, on the day before Tropical Storm Nicole is expected to sweep across the Tampa Bay, Atkinson and his son were busy getting ready.

They covered a hole caused by Hurricane Ian a few weeks before, and put up a water barrier around the foundation of Atkinson’s home.

"I am just wanting to get my place kind of normal before what’s fixin’ to take place now," Atkinson told FOX 13. "Ian was no joke."

Although Nicole is not expected to be nearly as destructive, Peace River Village residents are keeping a close eye on the storm.

RELATED: Tropical Storm Watch issued for Florida's Gulf Coast; Nicole strengthens into tropical storm

So are emergency operations staffers.

They are talking with the National Weather Service several times a day to keep track of Nicole's strength and movement.

"We are coordinating closely with other county divisions, with our public information office, with the school board, with the sheriff’s office, with the Department of Health," explained Paul Womble, Director of Polk County Emergency Management.

On Tuesday, experts were predicting that the Peace River was going to rise, but not nearly as dramatically as it did with Ian.

Polk County will make sandbags available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9. A maximum of 10 sandbags will be provided to each household to help prevent water intrusion into the home. Sandbag locations include: 

  1. 900 NE 5th Street in Mulberry – (863) 519-4734
  2. 8970 North Campbell Road in Lakeland – (863) 815-6701
  3. 1061 NE 9th Street in Fort Meade – (863) 285-6588
  4. 350 County Road 630A in Frostproof – (863) 635-7879
  5. 1701 Holt Road in Auburndale – (863) 965-5524
  6. 805 Dr. Martin Luther King Street SW in Dundee – (863) 421-3367
  7. Poinciana Park – corner of Lake Hatchineha Road and Marigold Avenue

Polk County will be pulling staff off hurricane debris removal to start prepping for sandbag distribution at the Maintenance Units. Wednesday will be the only day for sandbag distribution.

For more information, visit https://www.polk-county.net/.