MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey ordered a Level One activation of the Emergency Operations Center due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.
As the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for several southeastern Alabama counties, the governor activated the Alabama National Guard for active duty.
On Friday, a State of Emergency was Issued as Irma continued its westward direction.
"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."
According to the governor's office, a Level One activation means local governments will receive support wherever local resources may be overwhelmed. It also ensures that the State Emergency Operations Center will be fully staffed for 24 hours.
"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."
The Alabama National Guard will provide additional planning and force generation personnel throughout the state to assist areas that will have the greatest impact from Hurricane Irma.
The SEOC will remain activated at level one until the threat for Hurricane Irma diminishes.