Winter Haven Emergency Information and RECOVERY Resources – HURRICANE IRMA
The City of Winter Haven is in the recovery phase of the impacts of Hurricane Irma. City staff is working hard and coordinating regularly with Polk County and other area agencies. Crews are in the field and on the streets making repairs. Notification of alerts, information and resources are posted at:
CITY OPERATIONS UPDATE
City of Winter Haven offices are open for business during normal business hours.
POLK COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Phone: 863-298-7000; Toll Free: 800-780-5346
Polk County Citizen’s Information Line: 863-401-2234
Please be attentive to recovery information from Polk County Emergency Management. Click Here
Please touch base with your neighbors by knocking on doors to make sure they are okay. Every citizen can help with recovery by being there for each other. Neighbor helping neighbor will help the recovery process go smoother for everyone involved.
GROWTH MANAGEMENT – BUILDING DIVISION
Do you have hurricane damage? Before getting started with repairs, please take a look a the FAQ list from the CIty’s Building Division. In addition, City of Winter Haven is waiving storm related permit fees until December 11, 2018. Give the Building Division a call at (863) 291-5695 for more information.
From the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR): Be sure to hire only licensed contractors for storm repairs or upgrades to property. For more information or resources contact DBPR at 850-487-1395 or click www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr.
STREETS AND ROADWAYS
City crews have completed work to clear roadways. Actual removal of the debris will occur at a later date. All signalized intersections managed by the City are working and signal heads are being repaired. There are a few additional intersections still not working and we ask for your patience as our partnering agencies conduct the repairs. Staff continues to repair street signs. Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and One-Way signs will be replaced first, then work will continue with street name signs.
- Down or missing signs
- Turned signal heads
- intersection repair
- Storm drain with debris in front or on top
As of Friday evening, September 15, all storm related line breaks are repaired and associated boil water notices have been rescinded.
If an outage occurs in your area, expect to receive a boil water notice after service is restored. This ensures your water is safe while the water lines are recharged. Most boil water notices are localized to a specific area and the notices are hand delivered through door hangers. These notices are rescinded once satisfactory sample test results are confirmed. If in doubt, please boil drinking and cooking water for at least one minute.
Neighborhoods affected by a boil water notice are also posted on the City of Winter Haven Utility Department site. Scroll to the news section then click on “See All” located on the right. Should you have further questions please call the Utility Department at 291-5853. If you receive water service from a different provider, you should call the agency to answer questions.
LIFT STATION UPDATE: Due to the loss of electricity, some of the smaller lift stations in the city that do not require generators are becoming inoperable, which can cause possible spills and backups into homes. The utility crews are rotating through and pumping the stations down; however, until permanent power is restored by the power companies, the problem will continue. Residents are asked to use water sparingly, limiting as much wastewater as possible. Thank you for your patience.
UTILITY ACCOUNT & PAYMENT SERVICES DIVISION
To assist families with storm recovery, the City will delay disconnections for accounts until September 25. If you have a delinquent account, your delinquent amount must be posted to your account on or before 5 p.m. September 22 to prevent service disruption. The City will also waive late fees for the remainder of this month for utility accounts with September due dates. Late fees will begin again Monday, October 9 for unpaid balances due on or before October 6.
REFUSE AND DEBRIS REMOVAL
Garbage and recycling collection is operating on a normal schedule. It is vital to separate three types of waste. Household waste, landscape debris and junk such as roof shingles, aluminum pieces, boards and construction material should be placed separately with household waste ONLY in the garbage container. Keep waste and debris away from water meter boxes, mail boxes, fire hydrants, driveways, power lines and poles.
The City of Winter Haven is working with FEMA for debris collection, which means following special guidelines. Debris collection and hauling is a longer process than garbage pickup. It will take an extended period of time and we ask for your patience. For more information, please call the City of Winter Haven Solid Waste unit at 291-5757.
The map below from the City’s Debris Management Plan shows the work flow direction of debris management teams. Click on the map to see the current status of debris pick up.
Used Sandbags cannot be saved and reused. Open the bags and dump the dirt on the ground in your lawn, garden or flowerbeds. Place the empty bag in the garbage. DO NOT PUT FULL SANDBAGS IN THE GARBAGE.
PARKS, RECREATION & CULTURE DEPARTMENT
Parks: Patience is greatly appreciated as crews work to clean up parks and facilities over the course of the next few weeks. If using City parks you are cautioned to do so at your own risk due to conditions.
Activities and Events: All special events through September 23, 2017 have been cancelled. Future special events will be determined. Please call the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department at 291-5656 with questions or for more information.
There is a no burn ban in unincorporated Polk County; however it’s important to note cities may have different rules. For example, residents are NOT allowed to burn yard waste, tree trimmings, trash, etc. in the City of Winter Haven. The City of Winter Haven operates in accordance with Florida Administrative Code and Winter Haven Code-City Ordinance for allowing the collection of such items by waste collection. WINTER HAVEN CODE Sec. 14-9 It shall be unlawful to burn refuse or garage.
Additional Information and Resources
- Florida Emergency Information 24-hour Hotline: 800-342-3557
- Text “FLPrepares” to 888777 to receive Alert Florida notifications