WINSTON COUNTY - Although weather experts and officials were bracing for the worst, Mother Nature gave them the best, when the highly anticipated snow event of late Monday, Jan. 28 into early Tuesday, Jan. 29, never materialized.
The arctic front passed through in the late hours bringing mostly rain shows with only light snow on the cold sector of the front--despite northwest Alabama being placed under a Winter Storm Warning and Governor Kay Ivey declaring a state of emergency.
Both Winston County and Haleyville City school systems had dismissed on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and city officials were bracing for the worst.
“Student safety is our top priority,” stressed HCS Superintendent Dr. Holly Sutherland.
Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri had a meeting with city departments Monday morning at City Hall, informing them of the potential winter weather threat and making sure all of their equipment was updated and supplies in place.
“You prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Mayor Sunseri said.
“It’s just a drill to us to make sure everyone knows what they need to do,” Sunseri added.
After the front passed, skies cleared, the air temperature dropped and the drier air evaporated any fallen rain, so there were only a few small slick spots of ice, mainly in shady areas away from the sun.
Sunseri noted there were no road problems and city business as usual.
He recalled being up in the early morning hours to see light snow falling but not even sticking to the ground. Highs on Monday had been in the high 50’s to low 60’s.
“There should be no major travel problems,” noted Winston County Commissioner David Cummings. “We had very little to any snow, and the wind has kept it in our favor of drying the roadways off.
“In the low lying and shady areas, there would be some icy patches later on today. Just use some caution for some black ice,” Cummings noted. “There will be no major travel problems.”
The Winston County Courthouse opened at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
Winston County sanitation routes will be a couple of hours behind schedule but will run today, Cummings said.
“I always like seeing the white stuff, but I am glad it didn’t materialize,” said Winston County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Madison.
“But we were prepared. We had generators on standby. We had warming stations on standby.”
Madison reported no icy places on roads or bridges.
He stressed that temperatures are falling well below freezing tonight, so any icy patches in shady areas during the day may pose a problem, so use caution.
“Any water that may pool on roadways may turn to ice,” said Madison.
The story now is not the snow but rather the bitter cold temperatures expected tonight and in the morning.
Madison urged residents to always make sure they have extra food and water just in case of being stranded or if a power outage occurs.
Food and water for three days is needed for each person in the household, he said.
Residents are also urged to keep extra batteries for cell phones and a generator on hand if needed.
Pipes can freeze and break during bitter cold temperatures, so Madison urged residents to wrap their pipes and make sure outside faucets are insulated.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.