The state of Alabama is under a state of emergency for approaching winter weather, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office announced Monday.
The emergency declaration, which takes effect at 3 p.m., allows for activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Center in Clanton and the Alabama National Guard to assist with emergency transportation needs.
Ivey is also directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist communities and entities affected by the winter storm.
“This winter storm has the potential to affect a large portion of our state. Citizens in the northern half of the state should be especially mindful of the changing weather conditions,” Ivey said. “Travel conditions could be negatively impacted Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Please avoid travel if possible and be very careful if you do have to get out on the roadways.”
The National Weather Service has placed the majority of the state under either a Winter Storm Warning or a Winter Storm Advisory. Rain is forecast to begin over the northwest corner of the state around 10 p.m. Monday, as a strong cold front moves into the state.
Meteorologists expect a rapid changeover to snow behind the front, with several hours of snowfall.
Most of northern Alabama is expected to receive somewhere between 1 to 3 inches of snow, with the possibility of up to 5 inches.
Motorists are encouraged to use extreme caution while driving, check road conditions before departing, allow for increased travel times, and adjust arrival and departure times accordingly.
Motorists are also urged to limit travel to emergency travel only. As always, keep an emergency supply kit in your vehicle with a blanket, a few bottles of water, snacks, phone charger, and a first aid kit.
“Now is a good time to prepare for the inclement conditions winter weather may bring in the coming days,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director, Brian Hastings said. “Although the storm is fast-moving with short but heavy bursts of snow fall, it is the freezing temperatures after the front passage and especially at night that will create dangerous driving conditions where residual water on roadways freezes.”
For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation is encouraging individuals to visit algotraffic.com.
You can text “ALALERT” to 888777 to receive information for winter weather affects from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.
Suggestions on how to prepare for winter can be found at http://ema.alabama.gov and on Twitter by following @AlabamaEMA. Preparedness information can also be found at www.ready.gov or by following Ready Alabama on Twitter at @readyalabama.