Colbert County EMA prepares shelters, doubles up on 911 dispatchers ahead of severe weather threat

The worst round of storms are expected to come in Wednesday night.

Posted: Mar 16, 2021 5:21 PM
Updated: Mar 16, 2021 7:05 PM

Storm shelters in the Shoals are cleaned out and ready to go for Wednesday's severe weather.

Colbert County Emergency Management Agency Director Michael David Smith said crews started cleaning and checking the county's 26 storm shelters starting Monday. Water to the shelters had been cut off because of the winter storms a few weeks ago.

They've also doubled up on 911 dispatchers for Wednesday.

Smith said his biggest concern is that the tornado threat is coming at night, and he's worried people might not react quick enough to the threat.

"It is a worry, mainly because it is nighttime. It is an all-day event. People are going to be worn out by the time the nighttime comes. They are going to be ready to go home and get in their own bed, and that's when things can be the worst. If you are out somewhere in the daytime, you can see the tornado coming in depending on the cell, but at nighttime, you can't see the tornado," said Smith.

Smith said people need to start making plans now on how to get to their shelter quickly.

Storm shelters in Colbert County will open up when there is a tornado watch, or Smith said they could just go on and open them Wednesday morning. We will update you once the shelters open.

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