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County EMA: Monitor Tropical Storm Laura this weekend

Escambia County EMA (Ala.) Director David Adams is encouraging residents to monitor Tropical Storm Laura this weekend.

Adams said in a release that Tropical Storm Laura has formed in the Atlantic Ocea, just east of the Leeward Islands.

“The current long-range forecast has this storm entering the Gulf of Mexico early next week and possible impacting the northcentral Gulf Coast by midweek,” Adams said. “There is still much uncertainty in this forecast and it may change considerably before making landfall. However, it is wise for us to be vigilant and monitor the forecast for TS Laura over the weekend. Please review your emergency plans and make preliminary preparations early in case we see local impacts.”

Adams said the area could see significant rainfall from Laura, whether or not it makes land fall.

Adams said to stay tuned to local radio and TV stations and your NOAA Weather Radio for updates and changes to the forecast.

“The Alabama Gulf Coast is no stranger to the unpredictability and potentially damaging effects of tropical weather,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “As we continue keeping a close watch on the storm systems approaching the United States, we should do what we can now to be prepared, should Alabama receive impact from either of the two systems we are currently monitoring.

“Currently, one system has the potential to have a direct hit to our coast and possibly on the same day as municipal elections,” she said. “Until we feel more certain about an imminent threat of dangerous weather, we will not make changes to the elections at this time. However, we are having discussions and making preparations, should we decide that moving the election or making any adjustments is necessary. We will be prepared to act quickly and effectively. My team and I are staying in close contact with emergency managers and local officials, and we will continue closely monitoring the approaching tropical systems.

“Alabamians must remember that even amidst this health pandemic, if there is a threat for damaging weather, getting yourself and your family to a place of safety takes precedent. Do what you can to protect yourself from the virus. Wear a mask, sanitize and social distance if possible, but please follow your local weather forecasts, and stay weather aware.”

Up to date tracking information can be found at the National Hurricane Center website at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.