By Sam Poe
Saturday, December 21, 2013 | 11:12 AM
In anticipation for severe weather in the area tonight, officials in Bear Creek and Haleyville are making final preparations. The National Weather Service has been talking about severe weather in our area for several days, but as the time approaches the threat level has been increasing significantly.
Rob Taylor, Bear Creek Fire Chief, is shown in the photo above preparing chain saws for tonight's events. Taylor stated he hopes nothing serious enters our area, but the Bear Creek Fire Department is prepared in case they are needed to assist any residents of the Bear Creek area. Taylor also stated the Bear Creek Storm Shelters will be open at 5:00 p.m. The shelters are located in the basement of the Bobby Bishop Community Center and just across from Phillips High School at the Housing Authority.
Shane Whitten, Bear Creek Police Chief, stated he and his officers will be monitoring the weather closely and will be working with HBTV and Paradise 92.7 to get the information out to the public as quickly as possible regarding damage, downed trees, and/or blocked roadways. For your safety, once the weather enters the area, you need to be in a safe place. If you choose to stay at your home, know your safety plan. If you plan to move to a storm shelter, go early. Do not wait until the last minute to get on the roadways. The last place you need to be during severe weather is on the roadway! Remember, not only does it put you at risk, but it can also prevent emergency responders from getting to someone who needs help.
Haleyville mayor, Ken Sunseri, stated all of Haleyville's department chiefs have been briefed on the situation. They are all on standby in case they are needed, and both the Street and Sanitation and the Water and Sewer Departments are on call for the weather events this evening. If Winston County is placed under a TORNADO watch, all of the Haleyville storm shelters will be open. Shelter locations are the main safe center just behind McDonalds, the scout hut in South Haleyville, at the Haleyville Airport, near the Dixie Youth Baseball fields and the Senior Center behind Pinkard Funeral Home, and at the Youth Softball Fields behind the Neighborhood Facilities Building.
As the weather system approaches, do not call 9-1-1 or the police departments for weather information and other non-emergency situations. Have a reliable source for weather information, especially as the weather approaches during the overnight hours. Tune your radio to Paradise 92.7, as we will be live through the events Saturday night if the listening area is placed under any watches or warnings and will bring you the important information as soon as it is available to us. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1 or the Haleyville Police Department at (205) 486-5201.