State agencies at the ready: What could be Cat 3 storm

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In anticipation of Hurricane Michael, which is barreling toward the the Gulf Coast, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a State of Emergency. It went into effect at 3:00 pm CT. on Monday.

The storm is expected to become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it reaches Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Ivey anticipates wide-spread power outages, wind damage and debris produced by high winds and heavy rain associated with the hurricane. Flash flooding and tornadoes are also possible and parts of Alabama have been placed under tropical storm watches or warnings.

“Alabama is once again in the path of a hurricane, but I know Alabamians will once again come together and be prepared for whatever Michael may bring,” Ivey said. “On the state level we are prepared, now is the time for residents in south Alabama to review your emergency preparedness plans and also get prepared. Tomorrow we will start seeing the effects of Michael and those in its path will need to take shelter by tomorrow evening. Please stay weather aware today and tomorrow for any forecast changes. Most importantly, heed all warnings and instructions from local authorities.”

Ivey, along with Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Director, Brian Hastings, will continue to monitor the track of Hurricane Michael. By declaring a State of Emergency, Ivey is directing the activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Plan. She is also directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the storm. The AEMA is also authorized to make appropriate assessments of damages following the storm.

“Hurricane Michael is forecast to become a major hurricane and it will produce wide-spread power outages and debris that will challenge our response and recovery in the southern and Wiregrass counties. Alabamians should always be prepared, but everyone needs to make final preparations now to be ready for Hurricane Michael,” Hastings explained. “I am concerned about the cone of uncertainty as Hurricane Michael is leaning west today. Residents and businesses in coastal Alabama must be vigilant and closely monitor the storm’s path and be prepared for a major hurricane.”

The National Hurricane Center is warning of “life-threatening storm” surge that could reach  8 to 12 feet in hardest-hit areas.

Alabamians can text “ALALERT” to 888777 to receive information for Hurricane Michael from the AEMA.

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