Shoals EMA Directors Call Winter Event A Success

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MUSCLE SHOALS and FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Emergency Management Agency directors in the Shoals are breathing easier now that the worst of the winter weather is behind us.

It was a major event with relatively minor aftermath, because of how emergency agencies stayed on top of it.

On Thursday morning, the day after a significant snowfall for North Alabama, the first morning sun revealed thin sheets of ice everywhere.

EMA directors in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties asked drivers to stay off the roads until the meltdown set in, but if they had to drive, to go slow.

“Just have to be careful,” said Donnie Lovelace, a delivery driver. “There are spots (of ice).”

From the lack of incident reports, most drivers heeded the warnings about patches of ice.

“We really haven’t picked up any serious injury wrecks throughout this whole event,” said George Graybryan, EMA Director for lauderdale County and Florence city. “Just so thankful we’re not in Atlanta or Charlotte.”

He was happy with how things shaped up after two rounds of wintry weather in one week and attributed the success to agencies working together to stay ahead of the forecast.

“It’s just basically a team-type effort on what goes on,” he said. “If an agency’s got a problem, we try to help them with that, just like if we’ve got a problem, we depend on others to help us.”

Even the Sate EMA Division Supervisor reported a rather uneventful event in terms of counties needing resources.

When asked if it was time for a change of seasons, most people answered quickly.

“I’ll say that nicely – yes,” said Lovelace.

“Not that I’m wanting to rush the spring storm season here, but we’ll definitely put this up til next fall,” said Graybryan.

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