Governor Robert Bentley on Thursday issued a State of Emergency effective at 7:00 a.m. Friday for all Alabama counties in preparation for potential severe winter weather.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for several Alabama counties in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain in and near the areas under the advisory and watch.
"I am encouraging all Alabama residents to be prepared for the potential of significant winter weather and I have directed my essential state agencies to do the same," Governor Robert Bentley said. "With any severe weather event there is always a measure of uncertainty; however, it is important for everyone to take the necessary precautions and stay informed of the latest weather predictions in your area. I have issued a State of Emergency to ensure all available state resources are ready to be deployed if and when it is deemed necessary."
Governor Bentley has directed the following resources to be in place starting at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. These orders will remain in place until the threat of severe weather diminishes.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency will activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton to level three.
Emergency Management Divisions C, D, F and G will be activated to help coordinate local response efforts.
The Alabama National Guard will activate 300 soldiers to assist with mission support teams and command staff at the Joint Force Headquarters in Montgomery.
"In Alabama, winter weather is hard to predict, three or four degrees can be the difference between cold rain, sleet, snow or ice," Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner said. "I cannot stress enough the need for people to check their winter weather emergency supply kit, have a plan of action if conditions diminish as well as having a reliable method to receive the latest weather updates."
By declaring a State of Emergency, Governor Bentley is directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the winter storm.
For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation is encouraging people to visit https://algotraffic.com/
The State of Emergency will be effective at 7:00 a.m. Friday.