Robert Bentley declares statewide State of Emergency ahead of storms

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Gov. Robert Bentley issued a statewide “State of Emergency” Tuesday in anticipation of strong storms, which are expected to produce flash flooding and tornadoes across Alabama, according to the National Weather Service.

“I was briefed on the severe weather by Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Director Art Faulkner this afternoon, and based on the evidence from the National Weather Service, it is necessary to issue this state of emergency to ensure state resources are available and can be deployed in a timely manner, if necessary,” Bentley said in a press release. “Alabamians are no stranger to severe weather, and as state agencies are preparing, I encourage all Alabamians to take this threat seriously and prepare for impact of severe weather. Now is the time for citizens to ensure they have a method to receive the latest weather updates and know the locations of the nearest community safe rooms. It is proven that community safe rooms save lives.”

Bentley further ordered the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton to activate to level three, a designation which allows AEMA staff to monitor weather across the state.
The declaration encourages school authorities to make decisions regarding closing schools and offices and allows for those schools to move for waivers in regard to lost calendar days. The declaration further states that it is unlawful to charge exorbitant rates for commodities during the emergency.