Wiregrass Sees Small Impact from Winter Storm

Much of the Wiregrass was prepared for freezing temperatures and icy roads Monday morning. While we didn't get what we expected, emergency officials were ready for anything.

"We'll always air on the side of caution," says Clark Matthews, Director of the Houston County Emergency Management Agency.

Schools, daycares, and businesses across the Wiregrass were closed Monday in anticipation of icy conditions. While some may feel they were too cautious, Matthews says the county is always preparing for the worst possible scenario.

He says, "I have a responsibility to the people of this county. We're going to continue to do what we think is best based on the data and the information that we get from the weather service.... By law that's what we have to listen to."

Part of that preparation included salting the bridges and preparing shelters if that need arose. They also took a close look at shutting down Houston County roads. Fortunately that need never came.

"We really did dodge a bullet. I feel like us really getting the word out and preparing people for the worst even though it bypassed us," says Alabama State Trooper, Kevin Cook.

While they did a great job preparing for what became a non-event in Houston County, you can't always be perfect. Matthews says the EMA has lessons to learn, and they plan to address them.

He says, "We want to do a little better job. A lot of people didn't get the word. We had 5 or 6 complaints about that. We'll take what they told us and try to fix those deficiencies.”

The state is not in the clear yet. Temperatures will dip to freezing again Monday night and roads could ice, especially if you are traveling north.

Trooper Cook says if you must get out, remember one thing.

"You don't know need to be speeding in these conditions. You don't need to be speeding period, but with these conditions the weather deteriorating as rapidly as it is, they really need to be aware of their speed now," he says.

In Henry County, officials say they did have lots of ice this morning, but there were no major issues.


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