Nighttime weather threat becomes a different set of challenges for first responders

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 4:05 PM CDT
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EUTAW, Ala. (WBRC) -Tonight our First Alert Weather team will be watching the radar to help keep viewers safe from an overnight storm.

But you need to take some action, too. You need to make sure you have weather alerts that can wake you up and a safe place in mind if necessary.

In nearby Hale County they aren’t taking any chances. Remember, this county has had five tornadoes in the last 12 months.

Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, county leaders say the county’s only two shelters will open. Hale County EMA director Russ Weeden encourages everyone to take advantage of the shelters by coming early and not waiting for the storm to arrive to make that decision. Both locations will be open all night.

“So, tonight the Baptist church in Greensboro will open up about 5 p.m. and they will stay open all night. Also, the Newbern storm shelter will be open all night so they can come early and we tell them to please come early before the storm gets here,” said Weeden.

“Most of your severe weather that happens at night has a higher fatality rate just because people, you know, everybody’s asleep at 10:30,” said Eutaw town spokesman Corey Martin. “So that’s why we definitely encourage people to have their phones charged.”

Much like Hale County, Eutaw has had its share of tornadoes with three in six months.

Officials in Hale County do not plan to be caught off guard if Friday’s weather causes any issues.

“In this high risk of weather we have, all the fire departments have everything gassed up, chainsaws ready to go, county highway department’s ready to go,” Weeden said. “We have all that checked off and ready to go for tonight.”

Weeden says there is now a strong possibility the county will get an additional four new storm shelters on top of the six new shelters that should be built by the end of this year.

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