In a Sunday press conference, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox addressed the approaching winter storm likely to impact the city sometime on Monday, getting out ahead and letting Tuscaloosa residents know how best to prepare.

"Everybody's eyes and attention are on the weather event that's headed our way, and that's no different for the city," Maddox said.

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Preparations for the event of severe winter weather started on Friday and are ongoing, and Maddox outlined what city operations will be immediately available in the next 48 hours. First and foremost, the city will be open all day Monday and will be providing services. Public Works crews will be working around the city early Monday morning to ensure the roadways are passable.

Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue and the Tuscaloosa Police Department will also be working with the City to make sure those who are vulnerable get shelter and stay warm. ALDOT will be de-icing the Lurleen B. Wallace Bridge as well as the Woolsey Finnell Bridge across the Black Warrior River.

The Compassion Coalition will be providing shelter for those in need. Maddox said due to safety reasons, the locations can't be disclosed publicly, but anyone in need can call the CC and will be given directions. The City is also working in coordination with The Salvation Army.

Maddox also said that normal city services will be open tomorrow including the municipal courthouse, forgoing any weather-related changes. The City will be processing payments on over 6,000 business licenses tomorrow, however he reassured business owners that any late payments due to weather or the delays in the postal service will not be penalized.

"Based on what we've seen from the National Weather Service, Tuscaloosa is right on that line," Maddox said. "We could have nothing, and we could have cases of very serious icing. So, it's certainly something we're going to ask everyone to pay attention to... I would assume the worst, and then when the best comes, it will be very beneficial"

He concluded by listing some safety precautions Tuscaloosa residents should take. With several schools around the area cancelling classes, Maddox is encouraging people to not leave their house unless it's absolutely necessary. He also said the City is preparing for any complications involving burst water lines caused by below freezing temperatures.

Maddox said that the best thing to do would be to regularly check the City's social media on Facebook and Twitter for any immediate updates, or call either 205-349-0150 or 205-349-2121 to point out any areas around the city that need emergency attention. For non emergency calls, the Tuscaloosa 311 number will be open.

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