Residents, municipalities brace for Tropical Storm Karen

Published 12:15 pm Friday, October 4, 2013

State residents are gearing up for Tropical Storm Karen.

Crenshaw County EMA director Jessica Tomlin-Seabrook said Friday morning that the 11 a.m. weather briefing said local residents could expect a lot of rain.

“Right now, they are saying we will get a lot of rain and gusty winds, but nothing more,” she said. “It’s looking to be a low-end tropical storm with 30-35 mph winds.”

Forecasters are predicting Karen will make landfall this weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm.

The National Hurricane Center has said that Karen has weakened a bit.

Hurricane watches are posted from Grand Isle, La., to Destin, Fla., while tropical storm watches are along the Gulf Coast from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, La., and from Destin to Indian Pass, Fla.

Tropical storm warning are in effect from Grand Isle to the mouth of Pearl River, which sits on the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

Forecasters have also predicted Karen could dump as much as 12 inches of rain.

Gov. Robert Bentley is urging Alabamians to prepare now.

“On the state level, we will be prepared for a possible emergency response,” he said in a statement. “On the individual level, people play an important role in community preparedness. Make sure you monitor local forecasts. Review your family emergency response plans. Understand this storm can affect people inland as well, not just on the coast. Now is the time to think ahead and prepare in case Karen directly impacts Alabama.”

In the City of Luverne, Mayor Joe Rex Sport said they are planning to work with EMA, and that their trucks are gassed up and ready to go in case of the loss of power.

“We’re prepared,” he said. “The biggest part will be cleaning up debris and getting the service back on. Of, course we’ll make the hospital and nursing home priority.”

Sport said his crews were notified to be on standby this weekend, if they were needed.

Brantley Administrator Phillip Moseley said that Brantley Fire and Rescue were gassed up, and town crews would be ready at a moment’s notice, if needed.

Covington Electric Cooperative, which services the south end of the county, including the towns of Brantley and Dozier, issued a release this morning saying that their crews are on stand-by in preparation for Karen.

“Scattered power outages in the CEC service territory could occur depending on the storm’s track, so please be prepared,” the release said. “CEC crews will work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

CEC officials said in the event of widespread outages, it will ask for assistance from unaffected cooperatives.