According to the National Weather Service, severe weather blew through Lakeland yesterday with heavy rains and high winds. Updated reports now indicate as many as four tornadoes touched down in Polk County and there were reports of hail in many parts of Lakeland including downtown. The severe weather caused damage to trees, power loss and damage to aircraft at the Sun n Fun Fly-In.
Lakeland Electric has restored all circuits and all transmission lines are back up. At one point there were 11 circuits out within the Lakeland Electric service territory causing approximately 20,000 customers to be without power.
As of 4 p.m., Lakeland Electric restoration efforts are now concentrating on approximately 3,000-4,000 scattered outages throughout the system with the largest concentration of outages in the Southwest quadrant of the Lakeland Electric service territory.
Mutual aid crews have been dispatched from Jacksonville, New Smyrna, Leesburg and Tallahassee to assist power restoration efforts. Crews will work until 10 p.m. and will start again early Saturday morning. It is estimated that all power will be restored by late Saturday.
Please note that if an outage has been reported by a customer, it is in the system and a work order has been generated.
Sun n Fun has reported damage to at least 69 aircraft at the Fly-In with 24-28 planes considered totaled. Sun n Fun has resumed operations today with the Blue Angels practicing for their weekend show.