Preparations underway for wintry weather potential

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Agencies like the Alabama Department of Transportation and local Emergency Management Agencies have been keeping a close eye on the forecast for the majority of the week.  While they are optimistic that the weather won’t cause too many headaches leading into the weekend, they know better than to count Alabama’s unpredictable weather out.

“We’re advising all of our citizens to be cautious as they travel,” said Annette Davis, an EMA Officer with Jefferson County.  “I think this will be more of a transportation issue than an accumulation issue.”

Davis said that the rainfall over Thursday evening has the potential to turn into snow.  If there is still any type of precipitation on the roads by Friday evening, that could cause some issues.  “It will become increasingly cold on Friday, the the temperature will drop over the course of the day,” said Davis.  “Cold air is coming in from the north and west, so we can expect possible freezing if there’s any remaining water on the roadways.”

ALDOT officials have also been monitoring the conditions, but have not done pre-treating at this point.  If the conditions worsen on Friday, they have all of their equipment and materials ready to go.  “Each storm is so different, it’s just hard to predict,” said Mike Mahaffey, an ALDOT assistant region engineer in operations.  He said that they tend to see slick spots in places like Highway 31 by Brookwood Hospital and on I-65 on both sides near Alford Avenue.

“Around Cheaha, those kinds of places are pretty consistently spots that will give us problems in these kinds of situations, so we keep a close eye on them,” he said.

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