(WTVM) – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a statewide State of Emergency in anticipation of severe weather moving through Alabama on Wednesday.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a significant threat of severe weather to include destructive and long-track tornadoes, hail up to baseball size and damaging straight line winds for several counties.
"Alabama is no stranger to the impact severe weather can have on communities and the devastation that can occur when the weather takes a turn for the worse," Governor Robert Bentley said. "I have issued a State of Emergency as a precautionary measure to ensure state resources are on standby and are ready to assist impacted communities should the need arise. I also want to encourage individuals to stay weather aware and have a method to receive the latest weather alerts."
Governor Bentley also ordered the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton activated to level three. This level of activation will allow AEMA staff to monitor the impact of the severe weather as it crosses the state. In addition, 50 National Guard soldiers will be activated for preparation and response operations.
"Based on the forecast and prediction of the National Weather Service Offices for Alabama, individuals should prepare for the potential of multiple rounds of severe weather tomorrow," Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director, Art Faulkner said. "The Governor's State of Emergency will enable all state agencies to be ready to carry out the State Emergency Operations Plan, if and when required.
The State of Emergency will be effective at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday evening and will remain in effect until the threat diminishes.