Governor Bentley declares state of emergency - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Governor Bentley declares state of emergency

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Alabama is now under a state of emergency. Governor Robert Bentley has also issued mandatory evacuation orders for areas in both Mobile and Baldwin counties beginning at 8:00 Monday morning. National guard troops and all key state agencies are on stand-by.

The Governor will hold a news conference at 11:00 a.m. at the Mobile Convention Center. He's urging people along the coast and inland to start preparing now. The National Weather Service says the storm could make landfall West of the state, still putting us under the gun.

It was a busy day at the Birmingham Airport Sunday. Many people grabbing flights to Tampa early not knowing what to expect from Tropical Storm Isaac. Allen Detwiler says "I feel fortunate to get a sooner flight. We were scheduled to leave on Monday, so we called Southwest and asked if we could find a flight leaving Sunday." And some Republicans heading to the National Convention had the same idea. Paul Lycos says "I think a lot of people like us are moving plans up forward and hoping to get in before the storm causes problems for travel."

Airport officials are asking passengers to check with airliners on their flight status with Isaac looming. The National Weather Service has been keeping and eye on the storm for days. Meteorologist Scott Unger says "The models are struggling. Saturday we had the center of the storm coming up through Montgomery and up through Auburn and now it its much further to the West, which could still impact the entire state depending on where it makes landfall.  

Scott Unger says "You have these feeder bands that come up, that swing around the eastern side of the storm. those will bring heavy rain and isolated tornadoes, they're not going to be like the ones we saw April 27th, but they're just as dangerous cause they'll be dropping trees."

Alabama power crews are on alert as well as emergency mangers across the state. Jeremy King with Governor Bentley's Office says "We're asking everybody, no matter where you are in the state to keep aware of the threats that are out there, keep aware of the possibilities, have a plan in place for your family and for your property."

So, the next 24 to 48 hours are crucial. Alabama Power says they'll have a better idea Monday on whether to send crews or request help. It's time to prepare those emergency kits and grab extra batteries for your weather radio.