EMA, school officials expecting minimal impacts from storm

Will continue to monitor situation as Potential Tropical Storm 16 heads toward Gulf Coast


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Officials with Baldwin County Emergency Management and the Baldwin County School System are expecting minimal impacts from a potential tropical cyclone following a Webinar briefing with the National Weather Service on Thursday at EMA’s Emergency Operations Center in Robertsdale.

Baldwin County is currently under a Tropical Storm Warning until further notice with Potential Tropical Storm 16 forming off the Eastern coast of Mexico.

If the fast-moving storm follows its current track, it is expected to impact the coast from Louisiana to Florida in the afternoon and overnight hours on Friday, diminishing by Saturday morning.

“We will continue to monitor the storm, but if it continues on its current path, we are expecting minimal impact during the day on Friday,” said Baldwin County School Superintendent Eddie Tyler. “Right now, we are expecting school to go on as planned and don’t expect any difficulties with transportation afterward.”

The biggest impact will be high school football contests scheduled for Friday night.

At just after 6 p.m. on Thursday, Tyler issued an alert, stating that all school events scheduled for Friday evening, including sports events and after school care, would be cancelled.

Friday’s football games, including Daphne at Gulf Shores, Mary Montgomery at Foley, St. Luke’s at Elberta and Robertsdale at Baldwin County, have been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19.

“Please check with your respective school for specific kickoff times on Saturday as they vary from school to school,” Tyler said. We are continuing to monitor the forecasts and will send any updates as needed.”

Spanish Fort was scheduled to face of against Blount in Mobile County on Friday night. As of Friday morning, Mobile County schools had not postponed scheduled contests and the status of the game is unknown.

Only Fairhope has a bye for Friday night, while in private school action, Bayside is scheduled to travel to Fairhope to take on St. Michael Catholic, a game set to be played at Fairhope Municipal Stadium.

“We want to make sure that not only are our players, cheerleaders and band students safe, but we also want to ensure the safety of those who would be traveling to watch the games,” Tyler said.

Tyler said officials will continue to monitor the situation and any further decisions would be sent out via email to anyone impacted and to the media.

According to a release issued Thursday by the Baldwin County Commission, the immediate coastal areas of Mobile, Baldwin and Escambia counties will have potential tropical impact from the fast-moving storm, including the risk of flooding in flood prone areas along the immediate coast.

Right now, there are no plans to open shelters and all beaches are currently open. There is a high risk of rip currents and high serve and the area is currently under a Coastal Flooding Advisory.

Local EMA officials are closely monitoring information from the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service and will be communicating with its partners to keep them informed, according to the release.

An update on the situation will be presented at 11 a.m. on Friday at the EMA Emergency Operations Center.

Residents are encouraged to download the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency App, which is free from the Apple App Store and Google Play, as well as follow EMA on Facebook and Twitter for updates.