EMA: “historic” storm set to move in this week

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If you’ve lived here along the Gulf Coast for long, you’ve probably seen your share of torrential downpours, high impact winds or even record setting heat and humidity.

However, the forecast for the upcoming week is anything but the norm.

Baldwin County EMA officials are now preparing for what the National Weather Service has called a winter storm of historic proportions for our area.

Mitchell Sims, Baldwin County Emergency Management Director, gathered other members together after getting the news that the storm would be more serious than initially thought.

“We’re not used to seeing freezing rain and snow and sleet. But the forecast shows we could get 2 to 6 inches of that wintery mix,” said Sims.

They’re already planning their response to the conditions, which could make roads impassable as well as create dangerous driving situations.

A number of priorities include transportation for emergency responders and whether or not to open shelters.

“It’s not totally unlike preparing for a hurricane. People need to think about food and about water. However, what is different is they now have to think about heat,” Sims said, “There is a possibility that they could lose power during this. So if you don’t have a generator, you may need to find a way to stay warm.”

Terry Wilhite, with Baldwin County Public Schools, says they’re closely monitoring the storm as well and may decide to close schools.

“Our number one concern would be transportation and students on the road. Whether they’re in a bus or high school students traveling to campus, we won’t allow something that’s unsafe,” said Wilhite.

School officials say makeup days for missed classes will be decided at a later date. However, it won’t be needed if county officials decide its necessary to issue a State of Emergency.

“We don’t have snow plows. We don’t have salt spreading equipment. We really have to stay ahead of the game here. Get ready, get a plan and get prepared,” Sims said.

To stay up to date with the Baldwin County EMA, you can click here.

For more information on public schools, click here.

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