Gov. Bentley: Response agencies are fully activated - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

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Gov. Bentley: Response agencies are fully mobilized

Gov. Bentley talks on the phone before the news conference. Gov. Bentley talks on the phone before the news conference.
Gov. Bentley addresses the state Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Bentley addresses the state Tuesday afternoon.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the freezing rain from the winter storm that hit the state Tuesday went farther north than expected and response agencies have been fully mobilized.

Models didn't originally show the storm affecting the Birmingham metro area. Forecasts called for a light dusting of storm. However, as the storm progressed on Tuesday, the Birmingham area was hit hard with snow.

Bentley addressed the state in a news conference Tuesday afternoon. He said all available resources are being deployed to respond to the emergency needs across the state.

Bentley issued a State of Emergency for the entire state at 6 a.m. Tuesday and said it will remain in effect as long as necessary. Three-hundred-fifty National Guard troops have been activated to assist in the emergency response.

The governor called this a very dangerous situation and urged Alabamians to stay home until conditions improve.

He said non-emergency state employees should not return to work until noon on Thursday.

Bentley said the main problem with this storm has been ice on the roadways. He said power outages have been minimal.

The governor also said some parents are  having problems picking their children up from schools. The governor didn't have an exact number of how many children were impacted but specifically said the issues were in Shelby, Talladega and Jefferson counties. Bentley said children who are stuck at school will be taken care of.

Alabama EMA Director Art Faulkner said state screws are trying to treat the roadways but a large number of accidents have made that difficult. He told motorists to get off the highways.

The Alabama Department of Transportation director said some equipment from the Birmingham area had been moved south but will be moved back Wednesday. Also, some equipment from the northern parts of the state is in transit to Birmingham now.

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