Calhoun County declares emergency, but no damage reported yet
by Tim Lockette
tlockette@annistonstar.com
Jan 09, 2011 | 4188 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Calhoun County Commission declared a state of emergency Sunday night, as the area braced for the second half of a storm that covered the landscape with a layer of snow.

Alabama State Troopers declared all roads in an eight-county swath -- Clay, Cleburne, Calhoun, Randolph, Talla-dega, Etowah, Cherokee and DeKalb counties –- to be impassable and urged everyone to avoid driving if at all possible.

National Weather Service forecaster Mark Rose said the winter storm dropped one to three inches of snow on Calhoun County Sunday, with the highest accumulations in the northern part of the county. A mix of alternating freezing rain, sleet, and snow was expected to continue into Monday morning, with the heaviest precipitation expected to end around 3 a.m.

Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Marissa Brimer said the county’s declaration of emergency will allow first responders to call on governments in other parts of the state for help if needed.

But as of 11 p.m., major problems had not developed from the storm -– yet.

“No one has reported any storm damage,” Brimer said. “We’re expecting that to change as the sun comes up and people are able to take a look around.”

Brimer said the EMA had no reports of power outages as of 11 p.m., though she said that could change if more ice accumulated during the night. She said there were a number of reports of traffic-related problems early in the storm, but they dropped off soon after roads in Calhoun County’s three biggest cities –- Anniston, Oxford and Jacksonville –- were closed.

Roads may be passable at some point Monday, if the weather service’s predictions hold out. But if roads are drivable, they won’t stay that way for long.

Rose said temperatures would likely rise into the high 30s Monday, leaving roads “slushy” at the warmest point in the day. But those roads will probably turn slick again when temperatures drop Monday night.

On Tuesday, with a predicted high of 37 degrees, people may finally be able to get moving again, Rose said.

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Calhoun County declares emergency, but no damage reported yet by Tim Lockette
tlockette@annistonstar.com

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