Alabama
4:55 pm
Wed September 15, 2004

Ivan Continues to Threaten Alabama

Mobile, AL – Some shelters opened for Hurricane Ivan evacuees in Baldwin County have been closed because of concerns about high winds. Baldwin County EMA Director Leigh Anne Ryals says those already in the shelters are being bused to locations elsewhere. Buses are leaving Baldwin County High, Daphne High and Foley High to take evacuees to National Guard armories that are a safer distance from Ivan's winds. Meanwhile...emergency officials say they are making Interstate 65 a one-way between Mobile and Montgomery to help traffic move more quickly. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores is also evacuating because of Ivan. Volunteers joined zoo keepers Tuesday in removing almost 300 animals from the 16-acre zoo. Workers were expected to finish the evacuation Wednesday morning. Zoo director Patti Hall says she can't say where the animals were relocated for safety reasons. Meanwhile...Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Ron Sparks says stables and other shelters are also available across the state for endangered livestock. The stables at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery are being used for livestock boarding. Contact information for help in finding other boarding and a complete list of emergency livestock shelters can be found on the Internet at agi.state.al.us. Meanwhile...The Tennessee Valley Authority is also getting ready for Hurricane Ivan. The federal utility is spilling water from its Tennessee River dams, including the one in Guntersville. To minimize flooding, the utility is also lowering pool levels on some lakes and running its hydroelectric plants around the clock to move water through the system. And Attorney General Troy King is warning homeowners and businesses to be on guard for unscrupulous contractors after Hurricane Ivan hits. King recommends that people find out as much as possible about repair workers, ask if they are bonded or insured, get a written estimate, and ask for references. The attorney general is warning consumers not to pay too much up front and make sure to have contact information for the contractors after the job is finished. The Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board also urges hurricane victims to check the state's 2004 licensed residential home builders' list before doing business with anyone. That list also can be found on the board's Web site at hblb.state.al.us.