GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — With rain transitioning to snow in the northern part of Alabama on Sunday, Etowah County is gearing up for slippery roadways and freezing temperatures.
The Emergency Management Agency in Gadsden-Etowah County has been in contact with city leaders and first responders making sure everyone is prepared for the winter weather.
“We’re going to be getting up to one inch to two inches of rain here in Etowah County, which is a lot to take at one time and then there’s not going to be any sunshine to evaporate any of the water on the roads,” said Josh Tanner, Deputy Director with the Gadsden-Etowah County EMA.
The main concern for Tanner is that freezing temperatures will then transition into icy roadways impacting commuters Sunday into Monday morning.
“We suggest everybody stay off the roads Sunday night. If they have to be out and it’s an emergency, use caution, do all the smart things, drive slower, wear your seatbelt and don’t tailgate folks,” said Tanner.
In case of an emergency, due to slick roadways, first responders are preparing their equipment, vehicles and staff to respond no matter what the weather condition may be.
“Instead of seeing a fire truck pull up to your house, you may see a pickup or SUV pull up if there’s snow on the ground to help prevent us from having an accident in our larger vehicles. We also move some of our staff around strategically so that we can have more people in a certain area that were worried about having snow or icy conditions,” said Fire Chief Wil Reed with the City of Gadsden.
Fire Chief Reed is also reminding homeowners to be cautious when using heating equipment as it’s the leading cause of house fires in the winter.
“We have to worry about fire hazards getting too close to flammable items. We worry about carbon monoxide from generators, carnosine and propane. So, if you’re going to heat your house with alternative items, please have a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector in your house,” said Fire Chief Reed.
The Alabama Department of Transportation will also be out Sunday evening monitoring road conditions.