MADISON, Ala. - With the threat of severe weather looming Wednesday, the City of Madison's Public Works department spent the day prepping their emergency response crews.
Tuesday's skies may have reflected "the calm before the storm," but Madison Public Works was working at a fever pitch.
“We’ll come back and start setting things up with what we might need in case we do have severe weather,” said Mike Gentle, of Madison Public Works. “We also have our trailer loaded with our cones and barricades and it’s ready to go. All of our chain saws have been gassed up and checked and sharpened.”
Crews have strategically pre-positioned their heavy equipment near Madison City Hall and a fire hall off County Line Road, so response teams can mobilize at a moment's notice.
Still, Gentle stresses caution for anyone who might be on the road Wednesday.
“If you see debris in the road, don’t try to run over it and if you see water standing in the road, real deep, like they say, turn around don’t drown," said Gentle.
He encourages citizens to call the non-emergency dispatch number to report damage, 256-722-7140. Gentle wants everyone to keep in mind response times may be delayed while the storm is moving through.
The official policy of the Madison Public Works team is they won't respond to damage calls while there is an active warning issued by the National Weather Service, unless someone's life in danger.
“If it’s lightning and storms are right on top of us we can’t put our guys out in that, unless we’re trying to save somebody’s life," he says.
Gentle said he hopes mother nature spares the Tennessee Valley, but if that's not the case, he told his team to be ready.
"Said you know, just be prepared for a long day tomorrow you know if things do get bad, you might be here longer than 10 hours," said Gentle.