About 150 people are stranded in Lake Wales Monday after heavy rains and flooding from the weekend’s storms washed out portions of River Ranch Boulevard.
The road is the only passage in or out of Westgate River Ranch Resort from State Road 60 in Lake Wales and right now no vehicle or pedestrian traffic is allowed in or out of River Ranch.
According to Polk County Public Safety, approximately seven-tenths of a mile is covered in water more than seven inches deep. Currently, it appears that approximately five feet of road has been washed out at each of three separate locations along that distance of River Ranch Boulevard.
Right now no evacuations have been ordered.
When it appeared the road may flood and potentially cut off assistance, one EM Sunit and one PCFR brush truck were staged on the resort side of the damaged road prior to it washing away. They are providing emergency assistance to stranded residents who may need it. An airboat is also staged on scene and may provide emergency transportation across the damaged road. There are no known medical emergencies at this time.
According toPolkCounty’s roadway maintenance manager, the damage cannot be fully assessed and the road cannot be repaired until the water recedes.
State Road 60 remains open.
The Red Cross opened Boy Scout Camp Flaming Arrow as a shelter for residents unable to access their homes. It has since relocated the shelter to the First Presbyterian Church located at16 N. 3rd Street in Lake Wales.
For more information, call the Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross toll free at 1-888-220-9118.