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Alabamians Prepare for Gustav

With Gustav's track through the Gulf of Mexico still uncertain, some on the Alabama coast are preparing for the worst while others were hopeful of a not-too-dampened Labor Day holiday on the beach.

In Gulf Shores, where beach business normally is lively on the holiday weekend, Eric Dillon measured windows at a dry cleaner in case the owner calls him to cover them with plywood, a hurricane ritual on the Gulf Coast.

Dillon doesn't expect Gustav to strike the Alabama coast.

It's Tropical Storm Gustav, but is expected to become a hurricane.

Governor Bob Riley directed Alabama two-year colleges that have been designated as hurricane shelters to prepare for evacuees, if an evacuation order becomes necessary.

He also put 3,000 National Guardsmen on alert and directed state troopers to prepare to reverse lanes to make part of Interstate 65 one-way north in the event of evacuation from the coast.

Kimberly Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency, said no local or state emergency declarations had been issued Thursday.

Herb Malone, president and CEO of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, says about 60 percent of 15,000 rental units available were taken for the Labor Day weekend.

In Gulf Shores, where beach business normally is lively on the holiday weekend, Eric Dillon measured windows at a dry cleaner in case the owner calls him to cover them with plywood, a hurricane ritual on the Gulf Coast.

Dillon doesn't expect Gustav to strike the Alabama coast.

It's Tropical Storm Gustav, but is expected to become a hurricane.

Governor Bob Riley directed Alabama two-year colleges that have been designated as hurricane shelters to prepare for evacuees, if an evacuation order becomes necessary.

He also put 3,000 National Guardsmen on alert and directed state troopers to prepare to reverse lanes to make part of Interstate 65 one-way north in the event of evacuation from the coast.

Kimberly Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency, said no local or state emergency declarations had been issued Thursday.

Herb Malone, president and CEO of the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, says about 60 percent of 15,000 rental units available were taken for the Labor Day weekend.


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