All schools closed MondayPublished 2:56pm Sunday, January 9, 2011
Alexander City Schools, Tallapoosa County Schools and Central Alabama Community College will be closed Monday because the Lake Martin area has been placed under an ice storm warning.
A mixture of sleet and snow is falling across the Lake Martin area as of 2:54 p.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service doesn’t anticipate any accumulation Sunday afternoon, but it is expected to change to snow this evening.
The snow will then become a mixture of sleet and freezing rain after midnight and continue through the day Monday. Overnight accumulations of snow and ice is expected to be around 1/2 inch while Monday’s ice accumulations are expected to be between 0.1 and 0.3 inches.
An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring.
“Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible,” the weather service stated in an advisory. “Travel is strongly discouraged. Commerce will likely be severely impacted. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Ice accumulations and winds will likely lead to snapped power lines and falling tree branches that add to the danger.”
According to local police radio, Fish Pond Road (Alabama 259) and Alabama 128 have bridges with some icing. Road conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day Sunday and Monday.
Gov. Bob Riley has also declared a state of emergency because of the ice storm.
“We face a serious storm that will have an impact all across Alabama,” Riley said in a statement. “With the accumulations of ice that are projected to begin tonight, motorists should stay off roads during these conditions. State agencies have been preparing for this dangerous weather and have already called up extra manpower and equipment. However, the most important thing right now is for citizens to be constantly aware of the hazards and to make sure they themselves are prepared. I urge all Alabamians to heed the weather reports and to make sure their families and friends do the same.”
Riley said the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has personnel ready throughout the state. Roadway sanding and salting equipment, dump trucks and spreaders are prepared to move. ALDOT crews will continue efforts to keep roadways passable as long as conditions allow. However, based on current forecasts, travelers should expect that many roads statewide will become impassable at some point.
The Alabama Department of Public Safety (DPS) has its officers working 12-hour shifts to assist motorists who insist on traveling, despite the expected dangerous road conditions.
ALDOT and DPS are continually monitoring road and bridge conditions and are prepared to close them if it becomes necessary. Any emergency road closures will be posted online at the ALDOT website:
The ALDOT emergency call center will also be activated beginning 5 p.m. Sunday. The call center is staffed by ALDOT personnel to provide road closure and travel information. The emergency call center number is 888-588-2848.
The Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) has activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center. Staff and regional coordinators are on alert status and they are prepared to assist local communities with requests for assistance. The National Weather Service is providing AEMA with constant updates on conditions and how the weather is expected to impact Alabama counties. Winter weather awareness information can be found at the AEMA website: Updates from the Alabama EMA can also be followed on Twitter through @AlabamaEMA.
The Alabama National Guard also has 7,000 of its troops on drill duty in the state at this time, and they are focusing on storm preparations as well.