Alabama EMA: Timing, forecast, preparation helped state avoid repeat of January's winter gridlock

A view of downtown Birmingham the morning after a winter storm dropped several inches of snow in the metro area, Wednesday, February 12, 2014. (Steve Fleming/Twitter)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The head of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency says timing, better forecasting and preparation helped the state avoid a repeat of the problems that occurred during a winter storm two weeks ago.

Agency Director Art Faulkner tells The Associated Press that many difficulties were avoided because the worst of the frozen precipitation fell late Wednesday and early Thursday instead of during the middle of the day.

Faulkner also says the weather cooperated with the forecast this time. That's different from late January, when the Birmingham area received far more snow than anticipated and thousands of people were stranded in schools, cars and workplaces.

Faulkner says the advance warning helped both individuals and government agencies get ready for the latest winter storm to hit the state.