Below is a release from the Alabama Department of Transportation concerning the activation of its Emergency Call center to help communicate road closure and other travel information to the public during an expected winter storm.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- With a severe winter storm affecting portions of Alabama, the Alabama Department of Transportation at 6 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, will activate its Emergency Call Center to provide road closure and travel-related information to the public relating to Alabama's state, U.S. and interstate highways. The public is advised not to travel in areas affected by the severe winter weather conditions. The number of the Emergency Call Center is 888-588-2848. Additionally, Road Conditions information is available on ALDOT's Web site at www.dot.state.al.us. Motorists are encouraged to monitor local news for information on weather conditions and frequently check road conditions and travel advisories. To report traffic crashes or other emergencies to state troopers, motorists with cell phones may dial *HP (*47) tollfree. The Alabama Department of Transportation has made preparations and mobilized personnel and resources in affected areas of the state and is responding to icy bridge/road conditions and other adverse impacts. ALDOT crews will continue efforts to keep roadways passable as long as conditions allow. ALDOT officials strongly caution that driving should be avoided until conditions have improved enough for safe travel. The Emergency Call Center system was first put into place during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. A toll-free information line was established to respond to public requests for information and assistance before, during and after storms. When activated for Hurricane Katrina, over 5,000 calls were taken within a five-day period. During the winter storm two weeks ago, operators in the ECC responded to almost 6,000 callers in the three-day period of activation. ECC personnel are ALDOT staff members who volunteer to assist the public during States- of-Emergency and other events that may create adverse road conditions.