Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is urging Alabamians to prepare for Tropical Storm Nate. The Office of the Governor issued a press release with the following declaration:

Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday issued a statewide State of Emergency in anticipation of the potential impacts for Tropical Storm Nate. According to the National Hurricane Center, Nate is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane when it makes landfall on Sunday morning. This storm is expected to bring direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rain.

The National Weather Service is expecting Nate to be a compact, fast moving storm, with most wind impacts closer to the center of the circulation. Landfall is expected Sunday morning between southeast Louisiana and the Florida peninsula. In Alabama, winds of 75 mph and gusts to 90 mph are expected near the coast. Further inland over the western 2/3 of the state, sustained winds of 35-45 mph with gusts to 60mph are forecasted as far north as the Birmingham/Gadsden region. This statewide State of Emergency is effective as of Friday at 7:00 a.m.

“I have signed the State of Emergency, because it frees up personnel and resources in case there is a need to respond to any storm related activity,” Governor Ivey said. “State and local leaders are ready to respond if needed, but our people need to stay weather-aware and heed any directions given by local officials.”

Governor Ivey also ordered the State Emergency Operations Center in Clanton to activate to Level Three. This level of activation will allow AEMA staff to monitor and prepare for the impact of Tropical Storm Nate. In addition, several state agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Department of Human Resources, the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Alabama National Guard have been notified and are prepared to respond as well.

“The time for residents to prepare is now. Please build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, have a plan to communicate with family members if you lose power, review your evacuation plan with your family, stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and have a method to receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions,” Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings said. “It is important for Alabama residents to understand the potential threat of this storm goes beyond the coastal counties.  Everyone needs to closely monitor this system as it moves across the state in the coming days.”

The State of Emergency will be effective at 7:00 a.m. Friday and will remain in effect until the threat diminishes.