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Public Safety prepares for Ivan

MONTGOMERY – In preparation for Hurricane Ivan, the Department of Public Safety will activate its special operations platoons late Tuesday, according to DPS Director Col. Mike Coppage. Coppage said the trooper special operations platoons are specially trained and equipped to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies. Platoon members are prepared to provide search and rescue, traffic management, general law enforcement and other emergency services.

Coppage said DPS is working with FEMA, EMA, ALDOT, the Alabama National Guard and other emergency response agencies in preparing for Ivan and the hurricane’s aftermath. He said Public Safety has implemented 12-hour shifts and canceled off-days for troopers in parts of south Alabama.

Driver license offices from a line extending from Evergreen south will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and are scheduled to reopen Monday, Sept. 20.

Coppage urged motorists to contact trooper posts only to report traffic crashes or other emergencies. He said it is vital that evacuation routes remain open and directed motorists to move wrecked or disabled vehicles from traffic lanes immediately in the event of an evacuation. Links to information on evacuation traffic and road closings are available at the DPS Web site, www.dps.state.al.us.

Troopers provide the following suggestions to help insure traffic safety during inclement weather:

n Avoid travel during heavy rain and when weather warnings are in effect;

n If travel is unavoidable, turn on lights and windshield wipers.