The head of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency says timing, better forecasting and preparation helped the state avoid a repeat of the problems that occurred during a winter storm two weeks ago.
Agency Director Art Faulkner tells The Associated Press that many difficulties were avoided because the worst of the frozen precipitation fell late Wednesday and early Thursday instead of during the middle of the day.
Gov. Robert Bentley says two National Guard wreckers have been dispatched to Interstate 65 near Cullman to help clear jackknifed 18-wheelers that blocked northbound traffic.
The governor says one lesson learned from the Jan. 28 ice storm was to get National Guard wreckers organized early to pull stalled vehicles to the side of the road until the weather clears and the owners can reclaim them.
Alabama Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Harris says the state has brought in contractor crews to assist with snow removal across north Alabama counties.
Alabama is bracing for a one-two punch of winter weather expected to bring ice and snow accumulations across central and north Alabama.
The National Weather Service in Birmingham has issued a winter storm warning beginning 9 p.m. Monday. The warning area includes the cities of Hamilton, Jasper, Birmingham, Hoover, Pell City Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.
Forecasters say accumulations of one to two inches of snow are possible across much of north central Alabama. Accumulations of up to two-tenths of freezing rain are also possible.
Alabama state troopers handled more than twice as many wrecks as normal during the snow and ice storm that paralyzed parts of the state last week.
Troopers released statistics Tuesday showing officers investigated a total of 731 accidents from Tuesday through Friday. Roads were either frozen over or blocked with abandoned vehicles across a wide area during those days.
Troopers on average would handle about 336 wrecks over a four-day period.
Alabama's coldest temperatures of the week are expected early Friday morning, with lows dropping into the single-digits in northern parts of the state.
The National Weather Service will have a wind chill advisory in effect from 9 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday for northern Alabama counties that include the cities of Huntsville, Athens, Guntersville, Scottsboro, Fort Payne and Fayetteville. In those areas, forecasters say the wind chill value could be as low as 8 degrees below zero in higher elevations.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Temperatures plunged into the single digits in Alabama as the coldest weather of the season settled over the state. Lows around 5 a.m. ranged from 3 degrees in Haleyville to 14 degrees in Montgomery. The National Weather Service on Tuesday also reported pre-dawn temperatures of 5 degrees in Huntsville; 9 degrees in Anniston; and 10 degrees in Tuscaloosa. Many of the temperatures were 20 to 30 degrees below normal for this time of year. The weather service said that in Huntsville, for instance, the typical low on Jan. 7 is 31.7 degrees.