Expect traffic delays today, thousands expected for Mother Angelica’s funeral

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  The beloved Mother Angelica will be laid to rest Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. Her funeral will take place at the upper church of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the inside procession is invite only. However, the plaza will be filled with chairs and large screens will be set up so the faithful can see the mass.

As the world prepares to say goodbye to Mother Angelica, several area law enforcement agencies are gearing up to ensure mourners making their way to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament can do so safely.

"Mother Angelica is a world figure, so the eyes of the world will be on the state of Alabama for the next few days," said Lt. Mike Salomonsky with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

Thousands of people are expected to make the trip to Hanceville on Friday to pay their respects to the beloved Mother Angelica.

"We're on a world stage, we want to look good on the world stage," said Lt. Salomonsky.

This is why law enforcement agencies from here in the Tennessee Valley are preparing to assist Cullman County authorities for Friday's procession.

"People will be out walking on the roads, you might have medical incidents, minor traffic incidents. Anything that can arise, we will be there to assist ," said Lieutenant Salomonsky.

Lieutenant Salomonsky says there is no credible threat to public safety at this time but, law enforcement agencies are prepared to handle anything that may arise.

"One never knows what's going to happen with regard to protests, there is a safety plan that's in place. I'm not going to discuss that because if somebody is planning on doing something to disrupt the event I don't want them knowing what our response will be," said Lt. Salomonsky.

If you're planning to head to the funeral, officials want you to be patient and expect traffic. Also, they urge mindfulness of pedestrians and officers patrolling.

"One of the most dangerous things that police officers do is get out on foot and direct traffic, they don't have any barrier around them," said Lieutenant Salomonsky.

Cullman County authorities are in charge of the event.  They will be assisted by several agencies including the Madison, Morgan and Limestone County Sheriff's Offices as well as Huntsville Police and Alabama State Troopers.

Cullman County EMA is also requesting you pre-plan your routes, consider alternate routes and be cautious.


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