Hurricane Zeta prompts state of emergency in Alabama

Effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency related to Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall as a Category 2 storm shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, near Cocodrie, La. Overnight, the storm sped through Alabama on a diagonal track, leaving a half million in our state without power. One death was reported in Clarke County when a tree fell on a mobile home.

Prior to the hurricane, evacuation had been recommended for residents in storm surge and flood-prone areas of Baldwin and Mobile counties. The city of Gulf Shores had called for a voluntary evacuation of all visitors and tourists. The governor warned, “Folks even in the central part of our state should be prepared for the potential of tropical-force winds.” The damage came as coastal Alabama continues to recover from Hurricane Sally.

Governor’s Proclamation

The state of emergency suspends COVID-19 orders that would endanger lives affected by the storm or would impede response to the storm. With that one exception, COVID-19 orders remain in place.

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.

Originally posted 3:58 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27