Although Lakeland is not directly in Hurricane Idalia's path, area residents took precautions Tuesday to prepare for heavy rain, tropical storm-force winds, possible flooding and power outages. Polk County made sandbags available at roadway maintenance sites. Shoppers stocked up on bread, water and other supplies.

Shelters at George Jenkins and Tenoroc high schools had fewer than two dozen residents at 7 p.m., but staff said they would continue accepting people through the night as long as it is safe to do so.

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Kimberly C. Moore, who grew up in Lakeland, has been a print, broadcast and multimedia journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to Jazbablog in the spring of 2022, she was a reporter for four years with The Ledger, first covering Lakeland City Hall and then Polk County schools. She is the author of “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak," published by University Press of Florida. Reach her at [email protected] or 863-272-9250.

Cindy Glover moved to Lakeland in 2021 after spending two decades in South Florida. She was a crime reporter, City Hall reporter and chief political writer for newspapers including the Albuquerque Journal and South Florida Sun-Sentinel. She spent a year as a community engagement coordinator for the City of Lakeland before joining Jazbablog. Reach her at [email protected] or 561-212-3429.

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