Madison County officials gather for severe weather briefs

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Officials from various first responder agencies, and school districts gathered at the Madison County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for a weather briefing hosted by the National Weather Service office in Birmingham.

"Apparently the situation has changed, it's not as bad as we initially thought," said John 'Rusty' Russell, director of the Huntsville/Madison County Emergency Management Agency.

The news came as a relief, but every agency is still planning for the worst.

"We have our material already loaded on our trucks," said Chris Goins, superintendent for public works maintenance for the city of Madison. "Our sand truck is ready, our salt is ready. We have a standby crew that will come in at 2 o'clock in the morning [Monday].

"We've already made the preparations, extra blankets, extra medical equipment," said Don Webster, chief operating officer for the Huntsville Emergency Medical Services, Inc. (HEMSI).

All of the agencies present, ranging from Oakwood University Police to Madison Fire to the Madison County Sheriff's Department, plan to have extra staff on hand to make sure that roads are clear and people are safe.