FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2018
Jacksonville Public Information Officer 256-770-9858
Jacksonville, AL – On Monday, March 19, the City of Jacksonville, Alabama was struck by a dangerous storm system which, according to the National Weather Service, included at least one EF-3 tornado with 140 mph winds and large hail. The tornado left a trail of considerable damage to the city’s infrastructure, roadways, residential households, and the Jacksonville State University campus.
Immediately following the outbreak, the City’s emergency responders along with neighboring and state- wide emergency agencies, focused its efforts on search and rescue. Now, less than 48 hours after the tornado ripped through the Jacksonville community, the City has shifted focus to recovery efforts.
The City of Jacksonville is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents, businesses, and visitors and is calling on you to help communicate the following information to those affected by the tornado:
The City of Jacksonville has implemented a mandatory 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew to protect life and property. The curfew will be in effect until further notice. There will be zero tolerance for sightseers.
The American Red Cross is providing shelter at Eagle Point Church located at 301 Henry Rd SW, Jacksonville, AL 36265. Food, water, beds, and showers are available to those in need at the shelter.
The Jacksonville Police Department has placed barricades on certain roadways throughout the City. The barricades are for residents’ protection and are NOT to be moved or dodged.
Until further notice, the City of Jacksonville Fire Department asks residents, volunteers, and others to avoid ALL outside burning.
All debris must be placed off the roadways. Make a separate pile for vegetative debris, construction debris, and appliances debris. Garbage bins are for household garbage only, and one must refrain from putting non-recyclable items in the recycling bins. These items will be picked up as soon as possible. If residential households need new trash bins, please call 256-435-7611.
At this time, 2,076 Alabama Power area customers are without power. Additional power personnel will arrive tomorrow (Thursday, March 22.) The power crews will continue to work through the night and early morning. Residents may see tree removal trucks removing debris and clearing way for the pole trucks. Please help these crews by not placing debris in the areas that have been cleared for new or repaired poles.
At this time, volunteer work is scheduled to resume on Friday, March 23. In order to volunteer, one will need to check in, register, and get vetted at the Jacksonville Community Center (501A Alexandria Rd SW, Jacksonville, AL 36265.) Volunteers will not be allowed to enter the affected areas without credentials obtained at the community center. Volunteers are encouraged to wear durable clothing and safety gear, along with sunscreen and bug spray. Volunteers are welcome, but not required, to bring personal tools for the recovery and clean-up efforts. Contractors are required to bring their business licenses and proof ID.
To save time, volunteers are encouraged to download and fill out the Disaster Volunteer Registration Form before checking in at the community center. The form can be found at the following link: http://www.calhounema.org/sites/default/files/uploads/Calhoun%20County%20Disaster%20Volunteer %20Forms.pdf
The City requests that donations are delivered to the First United Methodist Church, located behind McDonald’s (109 Gayle Ave SW, Jacksonville, AL 36265). One can also donate directly to the Jacksonville State University Foundation by using the following link: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/JSUSTRONG or by texting JSUSTRONG to 7177. The City asks the public to avoid donating to unverified gofundme accounts. All donations made to the abovementioned destinations will go towards the tornado recovery efforts.
211 is on scene to help any affected by the tornado. If in need of help, one can contact 211 by dialing 211 (or 1-888-421-1266) or reaching out to their personnel set up under the United Way tent at the RV camp next to the JSU Meehan Hall starting tomorrow (Thursday, March 22) between 12:00 p.m. and
5:00 p.m. For now, 211 will remain on site through Sunday. Their tent will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A Public Health Social Worker from the Alabama Department of Public Health will be present at the First United Methodist Church to aid those with social/emotional needs.
The City of Jacksonville will continue to update its social media accounts with as much information as possible. The City asks you to monitor its Facebook and Twitter accounts and use the following hashtags when posting your current status/story: #JacksonvilleStrong #JSUStrong