(As this is an evolving situation, please check back for updates.)
As Hurricane Irma makes her way up the Florida coast and towards Georgia and Alabama, state and local officials are issuing statements regarding school closings and preparations throughout the city and state.
From WIAT CBS 42, a continuously updated list of school closings:
From Birmingham City Schools:
Due to the threat of inclement weather, and to ensure the safety of all students and staff, Birmingham City Schools will be closed Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12.
All after-school care and all extra-curricular activities are cancelled as well.
All Jefferson County Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday, as well.
Birmingham City Mayor’s Office has released the following statement:
Mayor William Bell met this morning with the Jefferson County EMA and the American Red Cross. Storm shelters for evacuees in Alabama will be filled from South to North. When the existing shelter at ASU in Montgomery reaches 2/3 capacity, Birmingham will be activated and will open Bill Harris Arena (2337 Bessemer Road). Currently, Montgomery is at 25% capacity.
The Red Cross chose Bill Harris Arena because it allows for a larger capacity and has plenty of parking for evacuees. In addition, Boutwell Auditorium will continue as the drop off location for donated supplies, canned goods and bottled water starting Monday (8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and continuing throughout the week. Mayor Bell has staff and supplies on standby. Will send additional information and updates throughout the weekend. https://www.birminghamal.gov/
Statement from UAB –
UAB will operate on its regular schedule Monday, Sept. 11. UAB administration, in consultation with the National Weather Service office in Birmingham, will continue to monitor the weather forecast. If necessary, further updates will be provided at uab.edu/emergency.
From the Alabama EMA –
Governor Kay Ivey on Saturday authorized the activation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Clanton to level one and the activation of the Alabama National Guard (ALNG) for state active duty, due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma and the state’s role in supporting additional neighboring state evacuees. The National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for several southeastern Alabama counties and a Tropical Storm Watch for several counties in eastern Alabama.
Additionally, Governor Kay Ivey ordered all state offices and buildings in counties currently under Tropical Storm Warning closed on Monday.
The counties currently included are: Barbour, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Dale,Elmore, Etowah, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Macon, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell, St. Clair, Talladega and Tallapoosa.
If the tropical storm warning is expanded, the closure will apply to those counties, too.
Governor Ivey on the preparations for Irma, “We have been watching Hurricane Irma very closely since it first formed in the Atlantic and as it continues to track further west. On Friday, I issued a State of Emergency and activated our State Emergency Operations Plan, we now feel it necessary to activate the State Emergency Operations Center to a Level One and activate members of the Alabama National Guard. I want to ensure that our people are in place to respond immediately to whatever Irma may bring our way,” Governor Ivey said. “We are ready to protect the people of Alabama and those who have recently sought refuge in our state.”
“We have been tracking the path of Hurricane Irma for several days. As the track started to shift more westward and pose a greater threat to Alabama, we have in turn adjusted the necessary staff and resources to ensure the greatest level of preparedness,” Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings said. “In Alabama, our primary threat continues to be the potential for damaging winds and likely power outages and down trees.”
For the latest information on Alabama preparedness events of resources available to Hurricane Irma evacuees you can visit: http://governor.alabama.gov/Irma.