Alert won#039;t affect travel

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 29, 2003

Although the national terrorist alert has been elevated the past weekend to orange, or the second highest alert, many of the citizens living in Covington County seem to heed advice given by Tom Ridge, head of the national Department of Homeland Security, who said "If you got holiday plans, go - don't change them."

Several citizens said the alert would not affect their holiday schedules after Ridge raised the alert level Sunday.

One area resident said she isn't concerned about the alert, but her family members are.

"(The alert) won't have an effect on me, personally," Christy Reeves of Brantley

said. "But it may have an effect on my family who lives in Jacksonville. They're more cautious about coming up this time of year because of the hightened security. Now they don't know if they are going to come here or not.

"They've got younger children still, and they are afraid to bring them along in case something should happen to them," she continued. "It's just a really scary time of year."

Another local woman expressed similar thoughts on the alert level.

"It won't affect my holiday travels, but it may have an effect on my sister who has to go back to California after New Year's Day," Dorri Ray of Andalusia said. "I will go about my daily, holiday routine."

Millions of people will be travelling this season, but the hightened alert isn't something to be overly concerned about while on the road, according to a few local persons.

"The alert won't have an affect on my travelling," Chris Coldin of Red Level said. "The (orange) level alert will probably go on every holiday, and there is nothing we can do about it. So, we'll just have to learn to live with it."

"If terrorists aren't coming to my house, then I'm not worried about it," John D. Shakespeare of Andalusia said. "I didn't go anywhere for Thanksgiving, and I don't plan to leave for Christmas. I suppose anything can happen at the house, but if it does (terrorists) will have to come and get me. Besides, I don't want to be out on the road because I know how dangerous it is out there."

One area citizen said the alert would have an effect on him for means of travel other than driving, such as flying.

"It would have an effect on me if I were flying, but living where I do and doing what I plan on doing, which may include driving to the beach, it's not a great concern," Al Powell of Andalusia said.

"They tell us we're on hightened alert, but they don't tell us what to do about it," he continued. "I never have known exactly what is accomplished other than scaring people. But ever since 9/11, I've been on a hightened alert when considering flight travel."