State and local leaders are keeping a close eye Tropical Storm Nate as the system makes its way into the southern Gulf of Mexico.
They are already in full storm mode.
In light of the storm, Baldwin County has issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents on Fort Morgan and those south of Highway 182 on East and West Beach Boulevard.
That evacuation order is effective beginning at daylight Friday morning.
This came after a conference call between the Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Baldwin County leaders.
Emergency officials throughout the county are also receiving multiple daily briefings from the National Weather Service.
Ivey told county commissioners that any decision involving evacuation orders would be left up to local authorities.
Baldwin EMC officials say they are monitoring the storm around the clock and all crews are on storm alert status. “We have an emergency response plan in place and in action,” said the cooperative’s spokesperson, Mark Ingram. “We have fine-tuned our disaster plan so we can be ready to respond within a matter of hours after a storm hits and begin restoring power as safely and quickly as possible. We want to assure our members we are prepared should Tropical Storm Nate reach our service area.”
With tropical storm force winds predicted for Baldwin County, residents should be prepared for power outages. Baldwin EMC urges members whose medical conditions require electricity to make alternate plans for their healthcare needs in the event outages are experienced.
Baldwin EMC has taken all standard precautionary measures, and their emergency preparedness team has confirmed that all preliminary requirements for storm preparation have been met. They have additional supplies stocked such as poles, transformers, wire and other needed equipment. In addition to regularly scheduled emergency crews, Baldwin EMC has extra crews on standby prepared to respond should the area experience widespread outages.
The city of Orange Beach was already flying double red flags Thursday, and Gulf Shores will post double red flags also, starting Friday.
The city has already moved lifeguard stands, chairs and trash cans from the beaches.
Fairhope may not be on the list for Baldwin County voluntary evacuations, but city workers are still preparing for the storm.
The public works department is securing any loose items around the city and encourages residents at home to do the same.
They're gassing up their vehicles and gathering supplies.
The Fairhope Police Department is increasing it's weekend staff and the city's emergency management team will be activated.
Meanwhile on the Causeway, the Oyster House will be closed on Sunday -- maybe even earlier depending on how the storm pans out.
Assistant General Manager Tobi Rogers says they are anticipating flooding and urge everyone to stay off the Causeway this weekend.
Both city and county leaders say the situation is very fluid and could change. They encourage you to stay up to date on the latest weather and news reports.
All content © 2017, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.