Area braces for winter storm
by Elsie Hodnett
Feb 11, 2010 | 1314 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials say St. Clair County is included in a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow.

“There is the possibility of 2-4 inches of snowfall, mainly after sunrise Friday (today),” said John De Block, warning coordination meteorologist for the Birmingham National Weather Service office.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham has issued a Winter Storm Warning for heavy snow, which is in effect from midnight Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

De Block said the heaviest snowfall is expected between 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

“The snow is expected to accumulate, especially on grassy and elevated surfaces, and possibly on the roadways,” he said. “The temperature is expected to remain near freezing, so there is the possibility of snow melt and refreeze, causing ice.”

De Block said the temperature is expected to drop to the low-to-mid 20s Friday night through Saturday morning.

“We are especially concerned about ice on the roads Friday night,” he said. “We are advising individuals not to travel Friday night, and to use extreme caution in emergencies if they must travel.”

De Block said temperatures are expected to rise above freezing Saturday around mid-morning.

Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford said the City has an adequate supply of sand to take care of any icy spots.

“The street, fire, and police departments are all on alert,” he said. “We are in contact with the Pell City School System and St. Clair County Head Start.”

Hereford said the City departments are ready to coordinate with the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, if needed.

“We feel we are well-prepared to deal with any weather issues that arise,” he said.

Pell City School System Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hathcock said as of Thursday afternoon, Pell City Schools were scheduled to open on time.

“We will be up at 4 a.m. to make a decision and get everyone informed about 6 a.m. if school will be delayed or canceled due to weather conditions,” he said. “Parents should listen to TV, radio, and Tele-parent advisories to know if school will open on time, be delayed, or cancelled. Our parents will be informed.”

Patrice Payne, assistant director of the St. Clair County EMA, said the St. Clair County EMA is keeping their first responders and municipalities up-to-date on changing weather forecasts.

“The EMA will activate if necessary, and we are asking the public to please pay close attention to changing weather forecasts,” she said. “Conditions can change rapidly and become hazardous.”

Payne said individuals are advised to stay off the roads if conditions become icy, and use extreme caution if traveling in severe weather conditions.

“The public should pay attention to weather conditions, especially Friday night, and stay at home if possible (should the roads become icy Friday night as expected),” she said.

Payne said a Winter Storm Warning for Heavy Snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecasted that will make travel dangerous. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of emergency.

Pell City Schools should be open, but the final decision on whether classes will be postponed or canceled will be determined at 4 a.m. Friday. All locations of Jefferson State Community College will be closed Friday. At press time, it was unknown whether St. Clair County Schools would be open Friday.

Additionally, all St. Clair County government offices will be closed today, according to Patrice Payne, assistant director of St. Clair County EMA.

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