Winter storm prompts governor to issue state of emergency

Alabama has been under a statewide emergency declaration since 7 a.m. Friday, Jan. 6, related to Winter Storm Helena.

Sleet and snow fell overnight Friday in parts of central Alabama, including Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. As temperatures dropped, the remaining snowy or slushy areas froze. Due to the icy conditions, the weather service and emergency management officials had advised Alabamians to avoid travel in central Alabama at least until noon Sunday in some locations.

>> For real-time road conditions, visit
>> Read governor’s emergency declaration release

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.

The emergency proclamation allows truck drivers delivering disaster-related supplies and goods 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 main site for the latest road and bridge closures and openings can be found at Alabama Department of Transportation Road Conditions. You can print off reports for counties where you operate from that site and it is updated regularly. In time of high volume usage, the site may be slow to respond.

For real-time road conditions, the department encourages you to visit

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.


  • 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.

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


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