SYLACAUGA, Ala. – As Hurricane Irma makes its way towards the United States Saturday night and Sunday morning, East Central Alabama prepares for high wind, rain, and possible flooding Monday and Tuesday.

All of RadioAlabama’s networks (Yea!106.5, WYEA!1290, 98.3 Fox FM, 105.1 WRFS, 96.3 & 1050 WLMA) along with SylacaugaNews.com, will keep you informed and up to date before, during, and after the storm.

For breaking news and weather information from SylacaugaNews.com, text “news” to 59925. Standard text message rates may apply. Check SylacaugaNews.com/weather for updated weather forecasts, watches, and warnings.

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Hurricane Irma Local Statement Advisory Number 44 National Weather Service Birmingham AL AL112017 1120 PM CDT Sat Sep 9 2017

This product covers CENTRAL ALABAMA

**Tropical Storm Watch Now in Effect for Much of the Eastern Half of Central Alabama**

NEW INFORMATION
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* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Elmore, Montgomery, Randolph, Talladega, and Tallapoosa

* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbour, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Elmore, Lee, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Talladega, and Tallapoosa

* STORM INFORMATION:
– About 780 miles south-southeast of Birmingham AL or about 690 miles south-southeast of Montgomery AL
– 23.5N 81.0W
– Storm Intensity 120 mph
– Movement Northwest or 305 degrees at 6 mph

SITUATION OVERVIEW
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Irma is expected to have noticable impacts across most of the eastern half of Central Alabama along and generally east of Jacksonville to Sylacauga to Montgomery to Troy line. Scattered tree and power line damage along with some structure damage with power outages are possible. Winds of at least 35 MPH may begin as early as the pre dawn hours Monday in the southeast counties, but the worst conditions will be during the day and evening on Monday as winds spread northward across more of the area with wind gusts well above tropical storm force possible. Such winds could bring down large tree limbs, trees, and power lines, leading to power outages and possibly impassable roads. The strongest winds are likely to be east of a Mount Cheaha to Alexander City to Troy line. Conditions will gradually improve on Tuesday as Irma continues to weaken and move to the north.

POTENTIAL IMPACTS
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* WIND:
Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts mainly east of a Mount Cheaha to Alexander City to Troy line. Potential impacts in this area include:
– Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles.
– Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over.
– Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
– Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines.

Also, prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts west of Mount Cheaha to Alexander City to Troy line and east of a Jacksonville to Sylacauga to Montgomery line.

* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for locally hazardous rainfall flooding having possible limited impacts across CENTRAL ALABAMA. Potential impacts include:
– Flood waters can enter a few structures, especially in usually vulnerable spots. A few places where rapid ponding of water occurs at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Several storm drains and retention ponds become near-full and begin to overflow. Some brief road and bridge closures.

* TORNADOES:
Little to no impacts are anticipated at this time across CENTRAL ALABAMA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
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* EVACUATIONS:

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – For those not under evacuation orders, understand that there are inherent risks to evacuation (such as traffic congestion, accidents, and driving in bad weather), so evacuate only if necessary. Help keep roadways open for those that are under evacuation orders.

WATCH/WARNING PHASE – If you are exceptionally vulnerable to wind or water hazards from tropical systems, consider voluntary evacuation, especially if being officially recommended. Relocate to a predetermined shelter or safe destination.

* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and take necessary actions to secure your home or business. Deliberate efforts should be underway to protect life and property. Ensure that your Emergency Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.

When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the exact forecast track as there are inherent forecast uncertainties which must be taken into account.

If you live in a place that is particularly vulnerable to high wind, such as a mobile home, an upper floor of a high rise building, or on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter. Take enough supplies for you and your family for several days.

If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as near the ocean or a large inland lake, in a low lying or poor drainage area, in a valley or canyon, or near an already swollen river, plan to move to safe shelter on higher ground.

Always heed the advice of local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Do not needlessly jeopardize your life or the lives of others.

When securing your property, outside preparations should be conducted as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of strong gusty winds and heavy rain can cause certain preparedness activities to become unsafe.

Be sure to let friends and other family members know of your intentions and whereabouts for surviving the storm. For emergency purposes, have someone located away from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and well charged.

Be a Good Samaritan and check on those who may not be fully aware of the situation or who are unable to make personal preparations.

Visitors to the area should become familiar with nearby surroundings. If you are a visitor, know the name of the county or parish in which you are located and where it is relative to current watches and warnings. If staying at a hotel, ask the management staff about their on site disaster plan. Listen for evacuation orders, especially pertaining to area visitors.

Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio or other local news outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the forecast.

© 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. RadioAlabama’s network (Yea!106.5, WYEA!1290, 98.3 Fox FM, 105.1 WRFS, 96.3 & 1050 WLMA) along with SylacaugaNews.com reports local news around the clock and will keep you up-to-date during breaking news and weather. For real-time alerts from SylacaugaNews.com, text “news” to 59925. Standard text message rates may apply. Click here to e-mail the reporter.