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Officials urge safety in weather

Many people in Central Alabama have bunkered down in their homes for Winter Storm Helena,, but what does the weather mean for Pike County?

Pike County EMA Director Jeanna Barnes said Pike County will likely remain mostly unaffected by the weather.

“The temperature won’t drop below 32 degrees until after midnight,” Barnes said. “Right now it’s forecast to get down to 27 degrees, but that will be Saturday morning, of course.

“From midnight to 7 a.m. would be more of the timeline that we might see some freezing, especially bridges and overpasses… We could potentially have some more issues Saturday night heading into Sunday morning if the wind doesn’t get the rain off the roads, but we’ll update that tomorrow.”

Barnes advised that residents will be best off staying home this morning until the roads can warm back up.

“I think, unless you have to get out, it’s safer to just stay at home,” Barnes said.

The National Weather Service is forceasting a low of 21 degrees for tonight and 24 degrees for Sunday night, but no precipitation is forecast for either day, which should help roads get back to normal fairly quickly.

Howeverm overnight showers on Friday night into Saturday morning could linger throughout the weekend, so caution is advised.

The Alabama law Enforcement Agency and the Alabama Department of Transportation are urging drivers to be cautious on the roads today with the potential for slippery roads due to rain and potential ice conditions.

The Alabama Department of Transportation encourages motorists to drive with extreme caution and to avoid roadways when weather conditions are prohibitive – particularly early in the morning as bridges may contain icy patches.

Motorists needing information on road conditions in Alabama can go to ALGOTraffic.com or download the ALGO Traffic app available online in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

ALDOT is monitoring roadway and weather conditions across the state and pretreating roads and bridges which could be affected by the approaching winter storm. ALDOT appreciates the public’s patience and cooperation as it works to keep highways passable and as safe for travel as possible.

Appropriate driving speeds are determined by the road conditions, which on wet or icy roads should be slower than the posted speed limit. Motorists should slow down and move over if possible when approaching ALDOT and other highway maintenance personnel and emergency vehicles at work.

ALDOT provides up-to-the minute road updates to its ALGO Traffic website and app. With ALGO Traffic, users can select which details they want to see, including:

          Weather-related road alerts

          Traffic cameras

          Interstate Message Signs

          Incident information

          Road construction updates

          Highway traffic speeds

ALDOT asks motorists to use ALGOtraffic.com responsibly. Motorists should never text, tweet, or use a mobile device while operating a vehicle.

ALEA offers the following traffic safety tips for those who must travel under such hazardous conditions:

        Monitor local news for information on weather conditions and travel advisories, and check road conditions (available at https://algotraffic.com/).

        Report traffic crashes or other emergencies by calling 911 or using a cell phone to dial *HP (*47) to reach the nearest Highway Patrol Post.

        Remain alert for emergency vehicles and remember to obey Alabama’s “move over” law.

        Keep vehicles in good operating condition. Check antifreeze levels and use windshield washer solution suitable for freezing weather conditions. Keep gas tanks at least half full.

        Remember weather and roadway conditions may quickly change. Adapt speeds to existing roadway conditions, and be alert to changing weather and the possibility of icy, slippery roads.

        Turn on headlights and windshield wipers, and maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and other vehicles during inclement weather.

        Pay particular attention to bridges and overpasses, which have a tendency to develop hazardous “black ice.”

        Keep blankets, first aid kit, charged cell phone and other emergency supplies in your vehicle.