Bentley declares state of emergency
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Friday declared a statewide state of emergency in anticipation of heavy rains and high winds likely to result from Tropical Storm Karen.
The storm is moving slowly, at about 9 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The storm is now forecast to make landfall around Plaquemines Parish, La., according to the latest maps, and move east along the coast, making a second landfall around Fort Morgan.
With landfall of a tropical system, tornadoes are possible, and parts of Alabama could be placed under tornado watches or warnings, Bentley said.
“Residents and businesses along Alabama’s coast should monitor weather conditions and be prepared for whatever this tropical storm may bring,” Bentley said. “By declaring this state of emergency, I am mobilizing the resources our communities need as the storm approaches.”
Alabama National Guard members and emergency response agencies will be on alert because of the state of emergency, Alabama EMA Director Art Faulkner said.
Bentley and Faulkner briefed local officials Friday afternoon by conference call on the current efforts of state agencies to monitor the track of Tropical Storm Karen.
By declaring a state of emergency, Bentley is directing the activation of the Alabama Emergency Operations Plan. Bentley is also directing the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory authority to assist the communities and entities affected by the storm. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency is also authorized to make appropriate assessments of damages following the storm.
Suggestions on how to prepare for a tropical storm can be found at www.readyalabama.gov, or by following Ready Alabama on Twitter at @readyalabama. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency also has information online at www.ema.alabama.gov and on Twitter by following @AlabamaEMA.