By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, January 5, 2016, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) issued a state of emergency, effective at 7:00 a.m. Friday, January 6, for all Alabama counties in preparation for potential severe winter weather.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch for several Alabama counties in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain in and near the areas under the advisory and watch.
Bentley stated, “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, 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.”
Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Art Faulkner said, “In Alabama, winter weather is hard to predict, three or four degrees can be the difference between cold rain, sleet, snow or. 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.”
Governor Bentley has directed that 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, and the Alabama National Guard will activate 300 soldiers to assist with mission support teams and command staff at the Joint Force Headquarters in Montgomery.
By declaring a state of emergency, Bentley is directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the winter storm.
Many schools in North Alabama have already announced they are closing Friday, and St. Clair County Schools are closed.
Roads are likely to be icy. For real-time road conditions, visit the ALDOT website.