Gov. Robert Bentley declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

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Gov. Robert Bentley issued a state of emergency effective 7:00 a.m Friday in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the state.

Bentley made the announcement Thursday evening following a Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for several Alabama counties issued by the National Weather Service.

“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,” Bentley said in a new release. “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.”

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,” explained Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner. “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.”

Real-time road conditions updated by the Alabama Department of Transportation may be found here.

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