EMA prompts tropical storm preparations

Published 11:20 pm Thursday, October 3, 2013

A hurricane watch is in effect for the Alabama Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen forms.

According to the National Weather Service, Pike County could begin to see rain and other storm affects late Saturday. At this time, the NWS isn’t predicting a significant amount of sustained winds. Rain will be the primary impact with winds secondary and a chance of tornadoes.

On Thursday, Gov. Robert Bentley said that emergency response agencies will be ready to respond to Tropical Storm Karen as needed.

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Jeanna Barnes, Pike County EMA director, said Alabamians are encouraged to prepare for a potential impact from the storm.

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued a Hurricane Watch for much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, including Baldwin and Mobile Counties. A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles-per-hour or higher) are possible within the specified area. A Hurricane Watch is generally issued 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

“Our state agencies are monitoring the track of Tropical Storm Karen, and Alabama families should do the same,” Bentley said. “On the state level, we will be prepared for a possible emergency response. On the individual level, people play an important role in community preparedness. Make sure you monitor local forecasts. Review your family emergency response plans. Understand this storm can affect people inland as well, not just on the Coast. Now is the time to think ahead and prepare in case Karen directly impacts Alabama.”

According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance of thunderstorms in Pike County on Saturday night with showers and thunderstorms likely Sunday, Sunday night and Monday.

Pike County residents should prepare for possible flooding, power outages and severe weather in case Karen picks up strength.

During severe weather, it is important for those who live in mobile homes to take shelter in sturdy buildings. It’s a good idea to make arrangements, now, according to EMA officials.