GREENSBORO, Ala. (WIAT) — Officials in Hale County want to make sure your plan is in place before severe weather could strike the area again on Thursday.
The one storm shelter in all of Hale County is located in Newbern, which is why EMA Director Russell Weeden wants to make sure you have a plan if it involves traveling to it because you need to be ready.
“We’ve had six tornadoes touch down in the last year,” Weeden said. “We’re still rebuilding from last year’s tornado, not to mention last month’s tornado.”
Weeden said at least 114 applications have been filed with FEMA — as each tornado has paved a new path of destruction.
The Hale County School System switched to remote learning Thursday in an effort to keep more people out of harm’s way.
“Last month’s tornado, if we had let kids out of school, then there would have been kids home in mobile homes that were destroyed,” Weeden said. “Sometimes schools are safer places. But since we’ve had this much notice, we went ahead and let schools out so parents could make a good decision where to put their kids tomorrow.”
Weeden said it’s important to set your plan now so you’re not scrambling on Thursday.
“We want everyone to prepare like we’re going to have a tornado touch down tomorrow,” Weeden said.
The Newbern Storm Shelter is adjacent to Auburn Rural Studios Brown House on Highway 61. Weeden said you can also seek shelter at the Greensboro Baptist Church on Main Street. He said to get to those locations early to make sure you have space.
Right now, Hale County is waiting to hear back from the FEMA office in Atlanta for approval to build six more storm shelters in addition to six others promised by Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Weeden said.