Alabama Digital News

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declares state of emergency for winter storm

Gov. Kay Ivey on Sunday evening declared a state of emergency for 28 western, northwestern and central Alabama counties expected to be affected by a winter storm bringing freezing rain and ice that could cause treacherous road conditions and power outages.

Ivey issued the declaration “out of an abundance of caution,” Press Secretary Gina Maiola said in an email to media. “Issuing this state of emergency is a precautionary measure in the instance the state is severely impacted due to freezing weather,” she said.

Ivey’s state of emergency began at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, for Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston counties.

The Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Operations Center and all Alabama EMA divisions are on alert and/or activated, according to the proclamation. Ivey directed the state EMA to assess any damages from the event and seek state and federal assistance for affected areas. Ivey also alerted the Alabama National Guard to prepare for activation to respond to the winter storm event.

The governor’s proclamation suspends any provision of the state’s COVID-19 orders “to the extent that its application or enforcement would endanger any person affected by the storm” or prevent any person, government, organization or business responding to the storm “to prevent or mitigate human suffering, or to protect or repair critical infrastructure.”

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued a news release that said county health departments in the Northern, West Central and part of the Southwestern Public Health districts are closed Monday because of the winter storm and announced that COVID-19 vaccination clinics in those districts are rescheduling appointments for vaccines that had been scheduled for Monday.

Northern District counties are: Cullman, Colbert, Franklin, Jackson, Lawrence, Limestone, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, and Winston. People scheduled for booster doses at the Northern District county locations will be worked in over the next two weeks.

West Central District counties are: Bibb, Chilton, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, and Walker. All COVID-19 vaccination clinics scheduled for Monday in West Central District counties will be moved to Saturday, Feb. 20. Appointment times will remain the same on the new date.

Southwestern District counties are: Choctaw, Clarke, Dallas, Marengo, Washington, and Wilcox. A drive-through vaccine clinic at the Choctaw County Health Department and a walk-in vaccine clinic at the Marengo County Health Department planned for Monday have been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later time.

If a delay occurs in the normal schedule for receiving a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines may be administered up to six weeks after the first dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ADPH said it will assure that people have a chance to get their second dose over the next two weeks, including providing extended clinic hours as staffing availability permits.

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