(WAFF) - Gov. Kay Ivey has issued a state of emergency effective at 6 p.m. Monday for all Alabama counties in preparation for potential severe winter weather.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for a large portion of Alabama in anticipation of snow, sleet and freezing rain in and near the areas under the advisory.
"All Alabamians should take time to be prepared for the potential of winter weather. I have directed essential state agencies to be on the ready should they be needed over the next couple of days," Ivey said. "As with any severe weather event, being prepared is of utmost importance. Everyone should take the necessary precautions now and stay informed of the latest weather forecasts for their area. This State of Emergency will ensure that all available state resources are ready if and when they are needed."
Ivey has directed the following resources to be in place starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday: Alabama Emergency Management Agency will activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton and the Alabama National Guard will activate soldiers to assist with mission support teams and command staff.
"There are enough uncertainties in the forecast right now that the potential exists that this winter storm could be debilitating to the state for a couple of days due to icy conditions," said director of Alabama Emergency Management Agency Brian Hastings. "We are strongly encouraging people to closely monitor this forecast because each portion of the state will face icy conditions at different times. It also important to factor in your commute time to ensure you are off the roads before the first flakes start falling from the sky. In addition to icy road conditions, another factor the state is dealing with is the massive flu outbreak. Now is a good time for people to plan ahead and remain weather aware."
The state is encouraging motorists to use extreme caution while driving, check road conditions before departing, allow for increased travel times, and adjust arrival and departure times accordingly. Officials also urge motorists to limit travel to emergency situations only during the overnight hours of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, as that is expected to be an especially cold and therefore dangerous period of time. For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation is encouraging people to visit https://algotraffic.com/.
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