Governor issues state of emergency due to winter weather

Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency due to the weather conditions expected that went into effect at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15.

The decision to call a state of emergency went became effective after the National Weather Service issued winter weather advisory for a large portion of Alabama that expands from the northern part to the central region and Chilton County.

The advisory was declared due to the forecast of snow, sleet and freezing rain in the areas mentioned.

“All Alabamians should take time to be prepared for the potential of winter weather,” Ivey said. “I have directed essential state agencies to be on the ready should they be needed over the next couple of days. As with any severe weather event, being prepared is of utmost importance. Everyone should take the necessary precautions now and stay informed of the latest weather forecasts for their area. This State of Emergency will ensure that all available state resources are ready if and when they are needed.”

The winter weather is expected to linger throughout the day of Jan. 17 and even into the early morning hours of Jan. 18.

What creates the most risk is the precipitation that is expected to be in the air, which mixed with the freezing temperatures creates the high probability of ice on the roads.

To help combat the conditions, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton at 6 a.m. Jan. 16. The Alabama National Guard will also activated soldiers to assist with mission support teams and command staff.

“There are enough uncertainties in the forecast right now that the potential exists that this winter storm could be debilitating to the state for a couple of days due to icy conditions,” Ivey said. “We are strongly encouraging people to closely monitor this forecast because each portion of the state will face icy conditions at different times. It is also important to factor in your commute time to ensure you are off the roads before the first flakes start falling from the sky. In addition to icy road conditions, another factor the state is dealing with is the massive flu outbreak. Now is a good time for people to plan ahead and remain weather aware.”

Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution while driving, check road conditions before departing, allow for increased travel times, and adjust arrival and departure times accordingly.

To keep track of the ever-changing road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation is encouraging people to visit https://algotraffic.com.

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