Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency for Alabama due to potential tropical weather this weekend, which has already been blamed for 22 deaths in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Nate is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane when it makes landfall on Sunday morning. This storm is expected to bring direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rain.
“I have signed the State of Emergency, because it frees up personnel and resources in case there is a need to respond to any storm related activity,” Ivey said. “State and local leaders are ready to respond if needed, but our people need to stay weather-aware and heed any directions given by local officials.”
Winds are forecast to reach 75 mph and gusts up to 90 mph. Further inland over the western 2/3 of the state, sustained tropical storm force winds of 35-45 mph with gusts to 60mph are forecasted as far north as the Birmingham/Gadsden region.
Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings asked Alabamians to prepare for the storm now.
“The time for residents to prepare is now. Please build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, have a plan to communicate with family members if you lose power, review your evacuation plan with your family, stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and have a method to receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions,” Hastings said. “It is important for Alabama residents to understand the potential threat of this storm goes beyond the coastal counties. Everyone needs to closely monitor this system as it moves across the state in the coming days.”
The measure is effective as of Friday at 7:00 a.m. and will remain in effect until the threat diminishes.