HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As Hurricane Ida bears down on the southern U.S. coast, a state of emergency is now in place in Alabama for counties in the storms path, including Colbert, Franklin, Lawrence, and Lauderdale counties.
A number North Alabama emergency management agencies are standing by, monitoring the storm, and calling it a wait and see game.
“In the current track, that does put that as a tropical depression right here over the Shoals area, you know late into Monday and into Tuesday,” said Colbert County EMA director Michael Smith. “So we’re anticipating to have flooding rain, tropical rain, some severe weather off of that, especially Tuesday, so we’ve just been making sure that that information gets passed onto our stakeholders so that they begin to make their preparations.”
County EMA’s are coordinating with area school districts, local elected leaders, area businesses and residents ahead of the storm. And they’re double checking equipment and making sure generators are functioning properly.
“Planning efforts don’t start just because we’ve got a weather forecast. These agencies have these plans and they know what they’re going to do locally and their lanes before these events unfold,” said George Grabryan, EMA Director for Lauderdale County.
Grabryan is reminding area residents to stay weather ready.
“Have a weather radio, have your meteorologist app. Do a little preparation knowing we’ve got weather first of the week, get some of your shopping and outdoor stuff done. Other than that, use good old common sense if you have to get out,” stated Grabryan.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross has been re-positioning supplies across the area, including tarps, clean up kits, food, water, and other items that might be needed after the storm passes through the region. The organization has also been busy diverting some of their resources to areas already being severely impacted by the storm.