Schools closed, dismissing early in wake of emergency declaration

Updated at 10 p.m.


In anticipation of winter storms, Governor Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon that will go into effect at 7 a.m. Friday morning across Alabama. The move followed a Winter Weather Advisory issued by the National Weather Service earlier in the day. The NWS predicts snow, sleet and freezing rain in multiple areas around the state.

“I am encouraging all Alabama residents to be prepared for the potential of significant winter weather and I have directed my essential state agencies to do the same,” Bentley said in a news release. “With any severe weather event there is always a measure of uncertainty; however, it is important for everyone to take the necessary precautions and stay informed of the latest weather predictions in your area.  I have issued a State of Emergency to ensure all available state resources are ready to be deployed if and when it is deemed necessary.”

Demopolis City Schools is the first of the local systems to respond accordingly as Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff has announced an early dismissal that will occur Friday.

“The governor declared a state of emergency statewide. It’s hard to tell right now when the weather is going to be and where it is going to be,” Kallhoff said. “We definitely feel that we need to get out around here to get everybody home safely. We’re pretty much going to have a half day, serve lunch, and then get them out. All afterschool activities are cancelled.”

Westside Elementary School will release at 11:45 a.m. Demopolis Middle School will go until 11:50 a.m. Demopolis High School and U.S. Jones Elementary School will each dismiss at noon.

Marengo County Schools Superintendent Luke Hallmark told The Watchman via text message that the system’s weather committee will meet early in the morning to make a decision regarding early dismissal.

Linden City Schools will release at noon.

Marengo Academy will be closed.

West Alabama Christian School will release at 11:30 a.m. while the WAC daycare begins releasing at 12:10 p.m.

The University of West Alabama offices be closed Friday with two exceptions. UWA Housing will conduct check-in from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in Brock Hall Room 201, and Young Hall Cafeteria will remain open under regular operating hours. In addition, University Cinema is expected to open as usual for its 7 p.m. showing.

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