Tornadoes touch down in Alabama; Five dead in Calhoun County; 46 counties under state of emergency

At 10 a.m. March 25, 46 Alabama counties were placed under a severe weather state of emergency. The Calhoun County coroner confirmed four died in an afternoon tornado in Ohatchee and a fifth in Wellington. A National Weather Service survey has confirmed 11 tornadoes passed through the state, including one 80.38-mile track from Hale to Shelby counties. That particular tornado had the seventh longest single tornado track ever in the state of Alabama.

The state of emergency includes: Autauga, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox and Winston counties.

Governor’s Proclamation

Alabama EMA

Potential Tornado Outbreak Today Into Early Friday

The state of emergency suspends any COVID-19 health order provision that would endanger lives of those affected by the severe weather or would impede response. With that one exception, COVID-19 orders remain in place.

The proclamation also instructs the National Guard to be prepared to be activated to respond to the severe weather event and the Alabama Emergency Agency to assess damages as a result of the event.

The statewide emergency proclamation prohibits price gouging and eases transportation restrictions for the movement of emergency supplies throughout the state.

When Alabama experiences a state of emergency, Alabama’s price gouging law is in effect.

ALABAMA’S PRICE GOUGING LAWMakes it unlawful for anyone to raise prices on commodities or lodging by more than 25 percent during the declared state of emergency. To avoid violating Alabama’s price gouging law, figure the price charged for each of the previous 30 days. Add the 30 daily prices, divide by 30, and multiply the price by .25, or 25 percent, to figure the maximum price increase allowed for any one day. The exception is if a wholesale price increases by more than 25 percent and merchants have no choice but to pass along the price increase.

The fine for violating Alabama’s price gouging law can be up to $1,000 per incident. Those who willfully and continually violate the law can be banned from doing business in Alabama.

TRANSPORTATION
The declaration also allows truck drivers delivering disaster-related supplies and goods to Alabama to exceed the hours of service or spend less time off duty than required by federal law. The waiver only applies to the time a driver is delivering the disaster supplies for up to 30 days after the emergency declaration, or until the declaration ends. Under federal law, a driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The proclamation loosens that regulation only as it relates to the timely delivery of disaster supplies for the 30 days or less of the emergency declaration.

The order also allows the Alabama Department of Transportation to issue weight waivers for vehicles and loads. Bridge and other structural weight limits and well as insurance requirements remain.

ROAD CLOSURES AND CONDITIONS
For real-time road conditions, the Alabama Department of Transportation encourages you to visit https://algotraffic.com/ or download the ALGO Traffic app available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

OVERWEIGHT OR OVERSIZE LOADS
For information on permitting related to oversize or overweight loads, contact the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Vehicle Enforcement Office from 7 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. CST Monday – Friday.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS:

  • For medical and life-threatening emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
  • Drivers can report an accident or other emergencies to state troopers by dialing *HP on their cellular devices.
  • Businesses that want to know how to help or donate to relief efforts, call 2-1-1.

WEATHER INFORMATION:
Click the links below for more of your local weather information.

Huntsville https://www.weather.gov/hun/
Birmingham https://www.weather.gov/bmx/
Mobile https://www.weather.gov/mob/

Visit Alabama Retail’s Emergency Preparedness page for other links to the state’s emergency management resource.

Last updated at 10 p.m. March 27, 2021