Sheriff: Polk County inmates to help clean up tornado debris in Kathleen

Inmates in Polk County will assist with clearing debris after an EF-2 tornado touched down in the Kathleen community Friday night.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said, starting Sunday, those in the weekend inmate work program will assist with clearing debris and removing fallen trees in the Kathleen area.

Officials said their weekend inmate program is an alternative to incarceration, where inmates are sentenced to report to work on the weekends in lieu of serving in jail.


The inmates will help residents in the area clean up after an EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 120 mph touched down late Friday night, damaging or destroying about 50 homes, according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado also ripped part of the roof off Kathleen Middle School, and flipped an RV on top of a boat in a home's driveway.

NWS said the tornado was 0.3 miles wide and its path stretched for nine miles.

No serious injuries have been reported, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.