Pike County placed under winter storm warning

Published 4:02 pm Monday, January 27, 2014

Picture 5Folks in Pike County are preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best, as a winter storm looms in the forecast.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, Pike County is under a Winter Storm Warning from 10 a.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. The warning, issued by the National Weather Service, means a greater than 80 percent likelihood of more than 2 inches of snow or 1 inch of ice accumulating within a 12-hour span.

“We’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best,” said Troy Mayor Jason Reeves. “We had a meeting at 9 a.m. (Monday) to start planning, and we have crews and staff on standby.”

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The latest briefing from the National Weather Service increased the chance of snow to 3+ inches for Pike County, said Jeanna Barnes, EMA director for Pike County. The forecast calls for early freezing precipitation on Tuesday, turning to snow by afternoon. “There is potential for Pike County to receive up to a quarter-inch of ice,” she said. “This will create extremely hazardous road and driving conditions. Please only travel if it is extremely necessary.”

Reeves reiterated that concern. “We just don’t want anybody on the roads who doesn’t have to be on the roads,” he said.

City officials will be working to maintain city roads and bridges. Alabama Department of Transportation maintains the state roads and highways, such as U.S. 231 and the bridges on Highway 29.

“We’re also asking residents and businesses who may have sprinkler systems on automated systems to go ahead and turn those off,” Reeves said.

Reeves said city officials are monitoring the weather conditions and will work to maintain emergency services, including responding to any power outages or concerns for the more than 6,000 city utility customers. “If we have ice, that can be dangerous because it can build up on power lines or on limbs, which can break and fall on power lines,” he said. “If residents have any problems, then can call 311 during regular business hours or, if it’s after hours, they can call 566-0500 to report a problem.”

Reeves said city offices will be open on Tuesday and will provide services to residents who find themselves in need of a shelter should power outages occur. “We are prepared to open the rec center, if needed,” he said.

Closings reported in anticipation of the weather include:

• All Alabama campuses of Troy University will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday’s start time will be determined Wednesday afternoon.

• Troy City Schools will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday for the Early Childhood Center and noon for all other schools. Classes are cancelled for Wednesday.

• Pike Liberal Arts School will cancel classes both Tuesday and Wednesday.

• New Life Christian Academy will cancel classes both Tuesday and Wednesday.

• Pike County Schools will have no school Tuesday and will make a decision regarding Wednesday by Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. All scheduled activities have been suspended through Wednesday.

• The Troy City Council will cancel its 5:15 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

• All Troy Recreation games scheduled for Tuesday night are cancelled.