West Alabama preps for Ivan the Terrible

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 15, 2004

As West Alabama began making preparations for “Ivan the Terrible,” the category four storm making it’s way across the Gulf of Mexico toward Alabama and Mississippi, the cancellations, closings and postponements began.

Area schools are still uncertain about the track of the storm or the affect it will have on the area, but officials are not taking any chances. Demopolis City and Linden City schools will be closed Thursday and are waiting to see what happens before making a decision about Friday. They will be open for regular hours Wednesday.

Hale County Schools will more than likely be closed Thursday and Friday, and may dismiss early Wednesday.

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“We’re waiting to see what the weather is going to look like,” Superintendent Joseph Stegal said. “I don’t want our buses out on the road if the weather is bad.”

Stegal said access could be a problem too, as buses may be unable to get to some students in the event of excessive rain.

Though many schools had not made a decision as early as Tuesday, Stegal said he felt Thursday was a “no-brainer,” and parents could probably expect to keep their children at home Thursday.

The rest of the week depends on the effect the storm has, from power outages to weather-related problems such as downed trees or flooded areas.

Alabama Southern has already dismissed its classes, and does not expect to reopen until Monday.

The University of West Alabama is closing its doors to classes at noon Wednesday, and will keep them closed until Monday, but the school will open the doors of its student union building and the armory building as shelters.

In addition to school closings, many area events have been cancelled or postponed.

The Alabama-Tombigbee Area Agency on Aging will close all Senior Centers Wednesday through Friday, and will reopen on Monday.

Additionally, the Coast Guard change of command ceremony set for Sept. 17 has been cancelled and the dove hunt, scheduled Sept. 18 at Yellow Creek Ranch, has been postponed to Sept. 25.