Cullman EMA: Prepare now for tonight’s storms

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Courtesy of the National Weather Service

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman area could see severe weather Saturday night into Sunday. According to the National Weather Service in Huntsville, the greatest threat will be from midnight until 9 a.m. Sunday. Wind gusts of 60-70 mph are possible, with hail and isolated tornadoes.

Cullman Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Phyllis Little advises everyone to prepare now for these overnight storms. She advises that citizens have a reliable way to receive warnings.

“The NOAA Weather Radio is the best. You’ve got all the apps you can put on your phone, but some of the apps won’t alert you. You need to make sure you’ve got an app that will alert you. You need multiple ways of receiving alerts tonight, tonight especially,” said Little. “Don’t depend on the outdoor warning sirens; they’re called outdoor warning sirens for a reason. They’re not meant to wake you up in the night. They’re to alert you if you’re outdoors to go turn on a radio, check your weather radio, do something else to find out what’s going on.”

Little continued, “I encourage everyone: Check your radio. Put fresh batteries in it. If you don’t have a weather radio and can (get one), they’re available at several places in Cullman. Big box stores have them. Some of the appliance stores have them. Get a weather radio if at all possible. Get it programmed and get it ready. People need to be making their plans now for what they’re going to do tonight as the storms move in. They don’t need to wait until tonight to try and figure out what they’re going to do.”

Community storm shelters will be open once a tornado watch is issued.

Latest from the NWS: “A broken line of storms move across the area late tonight, pushing east during the mid morning hours. Scattered to numerous severe thunderstorms are possible during this time. All modes of severe weather are possible, including damaging wind gusts, hail and tornadoes. Additional development is possible later in the day Sunday along the cold front itself, but this is much more uncertain at this time.”

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com