UA, Tuscaloosa respond to potential threat of Hurricane Ida

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

As Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox activated Level I Incident Command on Sunday. The City of Tuscaloosa and the University are preparing for the potential threat of severe weather on Monday and Tuesday.

“Our prayers are with the people of Louisiana and everyone on the Gulf Coast,” Maddox said in a Facebook post.

The city’s Incident Command will be headed by Fire Chief Randy Smith, who ran the IC at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Maddox said his decision was made in anticipation of the potential influx of people from the Gulf Coast. 

The first bands of rain from Ida arrived on Sunday afternoon, prompting city crews to work on storm drainage assets in preparation for the coming rain. A flash flood watch has been issued and is currently scheduled to expire on Tuesday. 

In an email on Sunday afternoon, the University provided information about nearby storm shelters and reminded students that windy conditions and heavy rainfall are in the forecast. 

Classes will be immediately suspended if a tornado warning is issued. 

The Magnolia Parking Deck refuge area can accept pets with their owners, and those who have been asked to quarantine or isolate are directed to the Capstone Parking Deck refuge area. The East Campus Storm Shelter is reserved for Capstone Village residents.