Governor Bentley urges South Alabama residents to use caution - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Governor Bentley urges South Alabama residents to use caution

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CLANTON - AL -

Governor Robert Bentley held a news conference Tuesday afternoon with the National Weather Service, and state emergency management at their state office in Clanton.

Their message is a warning to people living along the Gulf Coast and in South Alabama. Right now, parts of Baldwin County are under a tornado warning, and areas around Dauphin Island have lost power. The good news, is that there have been no deaths, but emergency crews at the EMA office say they're preparing for the threat of more severe weather. 

"Hurricane Isaac is still posing a serious threat to the citizens of Alabama and our citizens especially in our coastal counties," Art Faulkner, State EMA said. 

Governor Bentley spent the day making sure the state emergency teams are ready.

"I want to say thank you to all of our local officials down in the Mobile area, Baldwin County area, and all across the state who have worked tirelessly," Governor Robert Bentley said.

"Our first response is to make sure people have shelter, that they have a safe place to go and that they can get a warm meal," Chris Osborne, American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross is armed with cleanup kits with bleach, sponges, and brushes to fight off mold as well as flashlights, generators, and packs of bottled water.

"It's a huge effort - lots of people have come in using their own time to help their neighbors in need," Osborne said.

They've even launched an app letting people know how to prepare, where shelters are, plus a strobe light and flashlight for rescue searches.   The app also lets your friends and family know you're safe.

At Alabama Power, 300 line crew members from across the U.S. plus about 3,000 Central Alabama employees are on standby.

"We did tell all of our employees who would be deployed on something like this to come in with bags packed," Ike Pigott, Alabama Power said. "We are not sure at this point when and where we are going to send them. A lot of that is determined by the storm if it's slowing on it's approach to the coast, it may take a little longer. It's a point of readiness for us."

Governor Bentley is also urging people who are in South Alabama to text instead of talk. Texting will keep the phone lines open and use less bandwidth allowing emergency calls to get through faster.

 

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