Following a 1 p.m. meeting Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced the city of Mobile government operations would be closed Jan. 30 except for emergency response personnel because of the continued icy conditions across the Port City.
“We made the decision to shutdown tomorrow based on the information at hand. We are asking all employees to report back to work Friday at their regular times,” Stimpson said. “However, fire-rescue and police need to take direction from their chiefs.”
Garbage and trash pickups on Thursday are canceled. The Thursday route will be made up Sunday. The Tuesday and Wednesday routes will be picked up on Saturday.
The Mobile Fire-Rescue and Mobile Police departments have been incredibly busy since sleet and wintery mix began falling on Mobile Tuesday.
Since 7 a.m. on Jan. 29, Mobile Police have received 193 weather-related traffic calls for service.
The calls from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. consisted of 89 assists to motorists, 29 accidents without injury, four accidents with injury, one leaving the scene of an accident and 71 traffic hazard reports.
Stimpson urged residents to stay off the roads until the ice melts.
“It really is just using common sense to stay off the roads until conditions improve,” he said. “Driving on overpasses or hills is particularly dangerous and pretty much if you want to go north, south, east or west you’re going to run into hills.”
When Stimpson made the decision to close the city for Wednesday, he said he hoped they were making the right decision. As ice began to coat the roads, it was clear the administration had made the right call.
“We absolutely made the best decision,” Stimpson said. “I have a daughter who lives in Birmingham and she had to walk from work to a cousin’s house to spend the night. It was a good decision to go ahead and shut down.”
The city of Mobile isn’t the only entity closing on Thursday. The Mobile County is closed as well.
“While there is a forecast of warming tomorrow, roads will remain hazardous during early work hours and we can’t be sure when the roads will become passable,” said Mobile County Commission President Merceria Ludgood. “This is the safest call.”
Mobile County courts also have been cancelled for Thursday. Jurors are advised that they do not need to show for duty this week.
“We are asking all individuals to stay off the roads since they are a hazard for motorists, including first responders,” said Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson.
Road crews are out sanding bridges, intersections and some of the main arteries in the county today. But poor conditions persist.
“We have a one-inch buildup of ice on our bridges and most roads are iced and treacherous,” said County Commissioner Jerry Carl. “Please do not drive on the roads, but if you have a dire emergency or must venture out, use extreme caution.”
Also, the following schools are closed: Mobile and Baldwin counties public and Catholic schools, UMS-Wright Preparatory School, St. Paul’s Episcopal School and St. Luke’s Episcopal School.
In addition to staying off the roads, the city sent out a press release advising citizens to take other precautions.
The following tips are:
- Be aware of the wind chill factor;
- Wear layers, hat, and gloves;
- Carry a cell phone; and
- Sprinkle rock salt, cat litter or sand on icy patches.
- Citizens are advised to use extra caution when using heaters and generators.
- Citizens are encouraged to protect their homes and businesses by dripping their faucets and wrap their pipes.
- Citizens should avoid going near any downed tree limbs or power lines.
Use the following tips to protect your family from carbon monoxide:
- Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house and garage;
- Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house;
- Do not use appliances such as ovens or stovetops to heat the house. This could cause a buildup of carbon monoxide; and
- Leave your home immediately if the carbon monoxide detector sounds and call 911.
In case something does happen, important numbers to know are as follows:
- For life threatening emergencies and downed power lines, call 911
- To report a non-life threatening problem or to get information, call 311
- For real-time traffic and road condition, call 511
- Mobile Area Water and Sewer System 24/7 line, call 2516943165
- To report power outages, call 8008882726